Ex-Capitol Police Officer Found Guilty of Obstruction in Jan. 6 Investigation

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

A former U.S. Capitol Police officer who warned a rioter to delete his Facebook post about entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was found guilty of obstruction of justice on Friday. 

The jury that delivered the verdict against Michael Riley, but couldn’t agree on a second obstruction count, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial on that count, the Justice Department said in a news release.

On Jan. 7, 2021, Riley sent a Facebook message to friend Jacob Hiles, warning him that he could be charged. 

“Hey Jake,” Riley wrote, “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 continued to send hundreds of messages to Hiles. After learning that Hiles had been talking to the FBI, Riley deleted all of his messages. 

The jury found him guilty in connection with his conduct involving the coverup. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge related to his communications with Hiles. 

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