FBI’s Capitol riot investigation continues; 21,000 Guard troops approved for DC

Armed members of the National Guard stand guard outside the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – U.S. officials say Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has approved bringing in 21,000 National Guard members to Washington, D.C., to assist with security surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Army officials have been grappling with requests for assistance from a number of law enforcement agencies who will be providing security across the city and surrounding the U.S. Capitol. Officials said Thursday that in the ongoing discussions with law enforcement, it has been determined that 21,000 Guard members should be enough. Others said requests for assistance at one point totaled as many as 26,000, but officials said those were not formal, official requests.

A retired Navy Seal, a former firefighter and a two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist are among the growing list of people arrested or being questioned for their part in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

As the FBI’s probe continues to unravel, there are startling revelations about who was involved and how it may have been organized.

VIDEO: A retired Navy Seal, a former firefighter and a two time US Olympic gold medalist are among the growing list of people arrested or being questioned for their part in the riot at the US Capitol.

The man FBI agents say threw a fire extinguisher at U.S. Capitol police during the riots is now facing three federal charges. Authorities say Robert Sanford, of Chester, Pennsylvania, hit three officers in the head, including one that was not wearing a helmet.

Retired Navy Seal Adam Newbold, who earned two medals of valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, bragged about breaching the Capitol following last week’s riot, writing on Facebook: “There was destruction breaching the Capitol, our building, our house, and to get in you had to destroy the doors and windows to get in.”

Newbold went on to write, “the riot will make for stories to tell from generation upon generations.”

Newbold is being interviewed by the FBI, and may soon join a long list of other accused insurrectionists, which include off-duty Virginia police officers Thomas Robertson and Jacob Fracker.

Fracker wrote on Instagram that he didn’t do anything wrong, saying “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business ... The right IN ONE DAY took the (F*****) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us. I was willing to put skin in the game.”

Two on-duty Capitol police officers are also under investigation.

“I know that there were two people that were suspended. One was the selfie officer and another was an officer that put a MAGA hat on that started directing some people around,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

Two-time U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Klete Keller, who was wearing his Olympic jacket during the riot, was recognized by his former teammates and coaches in a video.

Keller’s charges include obstruction of law enforcement engaged in official duties, and violent entry into Capitol grounds.

Authorities say Lonnie Coffman, an Alabama man, was “particularly lethal” after he was caught with homemade Molotov cocktails, a crossbow and other various weapons. Coffman as been indicted on 17 weapons charges.

Late Thursday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced that one of their female officers is also under investigation.

“We understand the person was there, which is not in itself a violation of anything, it’s a First Amendment right, but whether or not the person participated in any illegal activity remains to be seen,” Kenney said.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.