December 6, 2023

A Missouri man involved in the Jan. 6 riot is in federal custody after the pistol he lost on the steps of the Capitol led FBI agents directly to him.

According to court documents, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and FBI agents recovered a semiautomatic handgun that D.C. Metropolitan Police officers found on the ground during a standoff with a pro-Trump mob that day at Jarod Bargar, a resident of Centralia, Missouri. who previously told agents he was in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021 — the day of the riot — but said he did not enter the Capitol.

In an interview on July 13 last year, Mr. Bargar told agents that “he and his friend were near the front of a group of protesters in front of the Capitol when police began spraying tear gas and deploying other munitions into the crowd.” .

Bargar also told FBI agents that he owned the gun, which he carried because he “wanted to be armed when he went into the ‘belly of the beast’ for his own ‘self-protection.’

In addition, FBI agents discovered social media posts indicating that Bargar was at the Capitol on the day of the riot. DC police detectives later matched a DNA sample taken from him to genetic material recovered from the gun’s magazine.

Supporters of Mr Trump and other Republicans wanted to play down the seriousness of the attack on the Capitol – the worst such attack since British troops under Lt. Gen. Robert Ross torched it during the War of 1812 – claiming the attack was not “armed rebellion”.

Recordings of police radio traffic released by a House select committee on Jan. 6 have since revealed that law enforcement was aware of multiple instances of firearms being carried by members of the pro-Trump mob that day.

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