Guilty pleas for men who took photos in Nancy Pelosi’s office during US Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Two Ohio men face up to six months in prison after pleading guilty on Friday (July 23) to disorderly conduct during the Jan 6 riot at the US Capitol, where one photographed the other in the offices of House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Derek Jancart, 39, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, and fellow Ohioan Erik Rau, 28, are at least the 20th and 21st persons to plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from the Jan 6 attack, when thousands of supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

More than 535 people have been charged with taking part in the violence.

Trump falsely claims he lost the election because of widespread electoral fraud.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jancart posted pictures on Facebook from the riot, including a photograph taken from outside Pelosi’s conference room showing Rau inside the room which carried the caption “We’re in.”

During hearings before US District Judge James Boasberg, Jancart and Rau, appearing via video link, both acknowledged that they entered the Capitol during the riot and went to Pelosi’s office.

Jancart acknowledged he photographed Rau inside the room.

Jancart and Rau both were initially charged with four riot-related misdemeanours after their arrests. Jancart was arrested in February while Rau was not arrested until earlier this month.

Both men pleaded guilty to single counts of disorderly conduct in the US Capitol building. They face a maximum sentence of six months and a US$5,000 (S$6,800) fine, though Boasberg could sentence them to probation.

Sentencing for both men was set for Sept 29.

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