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Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

  • Riley allegedly sent a message to the rioter saying, "Im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance [sic]," according to the indictment.
  • "Take down the part about being in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to be charged. Just looking out!," Riley wrote.
  • "Riley and Person 1 exchanged dozens more Facebook direct messages on January 7, 2021," according to the indictment.
  • Person 1 and Riley had never met but "were avid fishermen and members of fishing-related Facebook groups," according to the indictment.

The big picture: Capitol Police in September recommended disciplinary action for six officers over their alleged roles in the insurrection, Axios reported.

  • The announcement followed an internal review into officers' conduct during the Capitol riot, which saw six officers suspended with pay and 29 others placed under investigation for their conduct during the attack.
  • The report found six violations: Three for "conduct unbecoming," and one each for failure to comply with directives, improper remarks and improper dissemination of information.

What to watch: Riley is set to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, per the Associated Press.

Go deeper: Capitol Police recommend 6 officers face disciplinary action for riot conduct.

Go deeper

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army generals lied about Jan. 6 response

The D.C. National Guard and Capitol Police keep a group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that two U.S. Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

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