WASHINGTON — A former Virginia police officer testified against a fellow ex-officer during a Jan. 6 trial this week, telling a jury in Washington, D.C., that they stormed the U.S. Capitol and hoped to "overturn" the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Jacob Fracker, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge last month, also said he thought the officers at the Capitol "should have been on our side," working with the mob on the day of the riot, instead of protecting the building and those inside.
Fracker testified in the trial of Thomas Robertson on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Both men were arrested shortly after the Capitol attack and were fired within weeks.
Fracker and Robertson are among more than 775 defendants who have been arrested in connection with the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. More than 225 defendants have pleaded guilty, and hundreds more cases are in the works. One defendant, Matthew Martin, was acquitted by a judge Wednesday.
Testifying at the second Jan. 6 case to go to trial before a jury, Fracker said he had a close relationship with Robertson, who is 17 years older than him. He said he called Robertson "Dad" and Robertson called him "son."
Fracker said Robertson even gave him $30,000 after they were fired to help pay for his legal fees and take care of his family.
He testified that Robertson carried a stick on the day of the attack and that they both took gas masks to the Capitol. He also said he felt as though he needed to help protect Robertson on Jan. 6: “He’s my boy. ... I had to make sure he was good to go.”
Fracker indicated that he believed the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. While he testified that he didn't really know how the process of confirming the Electoral College votes worked, he had hoped the presence of so many protesters would have an impact on the outcome.
“I felt like we had maybe been heard by whoever it was we needed to be heard by,” Fracker said, adding that the actions of Trump supporters would "maybe, possibly, have the election results overturned.”
Fracker testified that he thought he was a "fairly good officer" and that Robertson served as a mentor, helping train him and shape his career. He said he knew Robertson was a Republican but "not the biggest supporter of Trump himself.”
Fracker said neither he nor Robertson were members of any extremist organizations, such as the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys, and that he didn't recall discussing the groups with Robertson. If they did, he said, "we were probably making fun of them."
He said he was proud of what he did and that he didn't believe he had obstructed Congress after the attack but now understands the broader impact of his actions.
Fracker said that apart from one brief instance, he didn't assist his fellow members of law enforcement who were trying to protect the Capitol and those inside from the mob. “As a cop, I felt like they should have been on our side, like marching with us and doing stuff, instead of trying to hold us back."
The rioters were united in their actions on the day of the attack, even if there wasn't a specific verbal agreement among them, he said, comparing the riot to pulling up next to another driver at a stop light and revving your engine with an unspoken intention to race.
“We all understood that we had the same goal," Fracker said. "It didn’t have to be said out loud."