Prosecutors believe the MAGA mob rioters who stormed the US Capitol last week planned to ‘assassinate elected officials’ – as it’s alleged that a retired Air Force officer carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended ‘to take hostages’.
Claims that some rioters intended to assassinate elected officials have now been made by federal prosecutors in Texas and Arizona as those charged in the siege continue to face court over their involvement.
Retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr, 53, faced court in Texas on Thursday after he was arrested after being photographed on the Senate floor during the deadly riot wearing a helmet and heavy vest and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs.
Brock, a father-of-three who lives in Dallas, was released to home confinement after being charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
During his hearing, prosecutors said the zip ties were proof Brock – who appeared in court with his hands and feet shackled – had planned to take hostages during the siege.
‘He means to take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government,’ Assistant US Attorney Jay Weimer said of Brock.
Separately, federal prosecutors in Arizona alleged that the intent of the rioters during the siege was to capture and assassinate elected officials.
In a court filing on Thursday, those prosecutors argued that ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley should be detained pending trial after he was charged over his involvement in the riots.
Retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr was arrested last Sunday in Texas after being photographed on the Senate floor during the deadly riot wearing a helmet and heavy vest and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs
Brock was released from jail on Thursday (pictured above) pending his trial but was ordered to surrender his firearms and is only allowed to have limited internet access
The prosecutor in Brock’s case had also argued that he should be detained given his military background, saying ‘his prior experience and training make him all the more dangerous’.
Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L Cureton said he would release Brock to home confinement. Cureton ordered Brock to surrender any firearms and said he could have only limited internet access as conditions of that release.
‘I need to put you on a very short rope,’ Cureton said. ‘These are strange times for our country and the concerns raised by the government do not fall on deaf ears.’
During the hearing, prosecutors read out social media posts from Brock, including one posted on the day of the Capitol riot that said: ‘Patriots on the Capitol. Patriots storming. Men with guns need to shoot their way in.’
Weimer noted that Brock had once been fired for making threatening and racist comments. He read a termination letter from the former employer that said he had talked in the workplace about killing people of a ‘particular religion and or race’.
Prosecutors also read social media posts in which Brock referred to a coming civil war and the election being stolen from President Donald Trump.
Weimer said Brock’s posts also referenced the far-right and anti-government Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, a loose anti-government network that´s part of the militia movement. The Oath Keepers claim to count thousands of current and former law enforcement officials and military veterans as members.
An FBI agent who testified said there was no evidence beyond the social media posts that Brock was involved with either of those groups.
Federal prosecutors in Arizona on Thursday sought the detention of ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley (above). They allege that the intent of the rioters during the siege was to capture and assassinate elected officials
Brock was photographed on the Senate floor during the deadly riot wearing a helmet and heavy vest and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs
During his hearing on Thursday, prosecutors said the zip ties were proof Brock had planned to take hostages during the siege. He is pictured above as the MAGA mob stormed the Capitol
Brock’s attorney, Brook Antonio II, noted that Brock has only been charged with misdemeanors.
Antonio said there was no direct evidence of Brock breaking doors or windows to get into the Capitol or doing anything violent once he was inside.
‘It’s all talk. It´s all speculation and conjecture,’ said Antonio, who noted Brock’s long service in the military, including being reactivated after September 11 and his four tours in Afghanistan.
Weimer said Brock will likely face additional charges.
Meanwhile, prosecutors filed court documents on Thursday evening seeking the detention of Chansley, the QAnon conspiracy theorist who was pictured during the riot dressed as a horned shaman.
‘Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,’ prosecutors said.
They said the 33-year-old left a note for Pence at the dais in the Senate Chamber where the second-in-command had been standing just minutes before, which read: ‘it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.’
Chansley, who is due to appear in court on Friday on his charges, is a regular drug user and likely has mental health problems, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors filed court documents on Thursday evening seeking the detention of Chansley, the QAnon conspiracy theorist who was pictured during the riot dressed as a horned shaman
Prosecutors said the 33-year-old left a note for Pence at the dais in the Senate Chamber where the second-in-command had been standing just minutes before, which read: ‘it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.’
‘Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,’ the filing read.
Prosecutors requested he be detained as he ‘poses serious risks of flight and danger to the community.’
More than 100 people have been arrested in the Capitol riot, with charges ranging from curfew violations to serious federal felonies related to theft and weapons possession.
The FBI has been investigating whether some of the rioters had planned to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage.
Before his arrest, Brock told The New Yorker that he found the zip-tie cuffs on the floor and that he had planned to give them to a police officer.
‘I wish I had not picked those up,’ he said.
There was no evidence presented that Brock had a firearm on the day of the Capitol riot.
Antonio asked an FBI agent who was testifying whether it was possible Brock had just picked up the cuffs and the agent acknowledged that was a possibility.
Brock, a Texas-based Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran, is shown with wife Katya Wallery Brock and their children
Brock was released from jail on Thursday pending his trial. He is pictured above with his wife Katya
Brock served in the Air Force for more than two decades and now works for an aviation company.
Following his arrest, unnamed family members have claimed said that Brock had become increasingly radical and influenced by white supremacy in recent years.
Bill Leake, who served alongside Brock in the Air Force for 10 years, told the New Yorker he had fallen out of touch with him because he had ‘gotten extreme’.
He said Brock, who was nicknamed Torch in the force, became obsessed with Trump and with following ‘the alternative-news-source world’.
‘Torch got all in on Trump. He went all in on the alternative-news-source world,’ said Leake.
‘He actually believes liberals and Democrats are a threat to the country. You can see how the logical conclusion to that is, ‘We’ve gotta take over’.’
Two family members said Brock called himself a patriot, had started making racist comments and that they believe he was influenced by white supremacy.
‘[He started saying] weird rage talk, basically, saying he’s willing to get in trouble to defend what he thinks is right, which is Trump being the President, I guess,’ one of the family members said.
They added that he developed a ‘weird sense of power’ from his military career and that he ‘doesn’t understand the fallout and the people he’s hurting’.