WASHINGTON — A former police officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was found guilty of all six charges at his trial Monday.
Thomas Robertson, who was an officer in Rocky Mount, Virginia, when he entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, was arrested in January 2021 and fired soon after by the city.
The outcome was another win for the U.S. Department of Justice, which is overseeing an unprecedented investigation into the hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Robertson was the second Jan. 6 defendant to take his case to a jury, after Guy Reffitt was convicted on all counts last month. In the Robertson case, jurors deliberated Friday afternoon and all day Monday before they reached a verdict just before 5:30 p.m.
Jacob Fracker, a fellow police officer whom Robertson called "son," testified on behalf of the prosecution after he reached a plea deal with the government last month. Fracker, a Trump supporter, admitted he participated in a conspiracy to “corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede" the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
Fracker testified that he decided to plead guilty and cooperate because he could cut down on his exposure to prison time and because he was thinking of his young daughter.
Robertson was charged with six counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Robertson's misdemeanor convictions were never really in doubt. Mark Rollins, his attorney, even argued in his closing argument that the jury should convict his client on several of the misdemeanor charges, conceding that there was no good argument to find his client not guilty. But Rollins argued that the jury should acquit Robertson of felony charges, arguing that he never purposefully interfered with police officers Jan. 6 and that the wooden stick he carried inside the Capitol was a walking stick not intended to be used as a weapon.
A Justice Department attorney argued that Robertson was "part of the problem" Jan. 6 and "decided to take matters into his own hands" because he did not like the outcome of the election.
“This defendant gleefully put himself in the thick of the initial round of rioters who set off hours of chaos inside the Capitol,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower told jurors in closing arguments Friday.
Nearly 800 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, almost 250 of whom have pleaded guilty. In addition to the two jury trials, two defendants have resolved their cases through bench trials, including a defendant who was acquitted on all charges last week.
Authorities say hundreds of more suspects have been identified by online sleuths but not yet arrested by the FBI. More than 2,500 people entered the Capitol in the Jan. 6 attack, and hundreds more assaulted law enforcement officers outside the building.
CORRECTION (April 11, 2022, 9:10 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when Thomas Robertson was arrested. It was in January 2021, not this January.