Officer accused of obstructing Jan. 6 investigation resigns from Capitol Police force

An officer accused of obstructing the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol resigned from the Capitol Police force, the man's legal team confirmed to The Hill on Friday.

The attorneys for Michael Angelo Riley told The Hill in a statement that the move came after a “distinguished” 26-year career with the force.

“As is the case with many of his colleagues, Officer Riley engaged in acts of heroism on January 6, 2021, responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol. With regard to the charges against him, the evidence will show that it is not a felony for one person to suggest to another that they take down ill-conceived Facebook posts,” Riley’s lawyers said in their statement.

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When asked about the resignation, Capitol Police told The Hill in a statement that it "cannot discuss potential personnel issues."

The news of Riley's resignation was first reported by Politico

The former Capitol Police officer is facing two counts of obstruction of justice over allegations he tried to help a person avoid being prosecuted in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Court documents say Riley sent a Facebook friend request to someone referred to as “Person 1” despite the fact that they did not know each other. That unnamed individual accepted the friend request, and Riley sent Person 1 a direct message asking him to take down videos and photos on Person 1's account that showed Person 1 in the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors allege.

“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. 

Prosecutors also say Person 1 sent several videos to Riley that indicated that Person 1 was both inside and outside of the Capitol. 

"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,” Riley allegedly replied after receiving the videos, according to court documents.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a statement earlier this month that Riley had been placed on administrative leave and called obstruction of justice “a very serious allegation.”