WASHINGTON — A former police officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was found guilty on all six charges at trial in a verdict reached Monday.
The outcome was another win for the Justice Department, 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 reaching a verdict just before 5:30 p.m.
Jacob Fracker, a fellow police officer who Robertson called “son,” testified on behalf of the prosecution after reaching a plea deal with the government last month. Fracker, a Donald Trump supporter, admitted he participated in a conspiracy to “corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede” the certification of President 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 was thinking of his young daughter.
Robertson faced six charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, and entering and remaining is a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Robertson’s misdemeanor convictions were never really in doubt. Robertson’s attorney even argued during his closing argument that the jury should convict his client of several of the misdemeanor charges he faced, conceding that there was no good argument to find his client not guilty. But Robertson’s attorney Mark Rollins argued that the jury should spare his client of felony convictions, arguing that he never purposefully interfered with police officers on 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” on Jan. 6 and “decided to take matters into his own hands” because he didn’t 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 during closing arguments on Friday.
Nearly 800 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and almost 250 have pleaded guilty. In addition to the two jury trials, two Jan. 6 defendants have resolved their cases through bench trials, including a defendant who was acquitted on all charges last week. Hundreds more suspects have been successfully identified by online sleuths but not yet arrested by the FBI. More than 2,500 people entered the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, and hundreds more assaulted law enforcement officers outside the building.