“Prosecutors Charge Man With Firing Shots Outside the Capitol on Jan. 6”


A Trump supporter who prosecutors say fired a pistol into the air on the grounds of the Capitol as a mob stormed the building on Jan. 6, 2021, was charged on Friday with firearm offenses, trespassing and interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder.

The man, John Banuelos, fired at least two shots into the air while standing above the crowd on scaffolding on the west side of the Capitol, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Federal District Court in Washington. It does not appear that Mr. Banuelos entered the Capitol. But before the shots were fired, prosecutors say, he posed for a photo wearing a “Trump 2020” cowboy hat and showing off a pistol tucked into his waistband.

One of the most persistent lies about the Capitol attack — often made by Republican politicians and right-wing media figures — is that none of the hundreds of rioters who stormed the building had guns. On Thursday night, former President Donald J. Trump repeated the false claim on social media while responding to remarks about Jan. 6 that President Biden had made during his State of the Union address.

“The so-called ‘Insurrectionists’ that he talks about had no guns,” Mr. Trump wrote. “They only had a Rigged Election.”

But the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation of Jan. 6 has revealed that several people at the Capitol were carrying firearms that day. Altogether, more than 1,300 rioters have been charged in connection with the attack and arrests continue almost daily.

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