Capitol Police officer charged with obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

A Capitol Police officer is facing two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to help someone avoid being prosecuted for the Jan. 6 riot by telling them to change Facebook posts to indicate they were not in the Capitol at the time of the riot.

The Capitol Police officer, Michael Angelo Riley, had been with the department for more than 25 years when he was indicted for allegedly helping someone, referred to as “Person 1” in court documents obtained by Law & Crime.

The court documents allege that Person 1 had accepted a friend request from the Capitol Police officer despite the fact that they did not know each other. Person 1 had posed commentary and footage that indicated Person 1 was inside the Capitol during Jan. 6.

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Documents allege Riley identified himself as an officer, and said he agreed with the person's political stance.

“Hey [Person 1], im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance. 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 to the person, according to court documents. 

The documents allege that Person 1 then sent several videos to Riley that indicated Person 1 was inside and outside of the Capitol. The documents claim Riley responded on Facebook, saying "I get it ... it was a total shit show!!! Just wanted to give you a heads up. Im glad you got out of there unscathed We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad.”

"The only thing I can see is if you went in the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had no where to go, but thats for court,” Riley allegedly said after the individual claimed he did not believe he behaved inappropriately.

Riley later on Friday is expected to appear in court, according to The Associated Press. The news outlet noted it was not immediately clear if Riley had an attorney representing him.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement that the obstruction of justice charges “is a very serious allegation.”

“The Department was notified about this investigation several weeks ago. Upon his arrest, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the case. The USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility will then open an administrative investigation,” Manger said.