Md. man pleads guilty in Jan. 6 attack on Capitol

<p>WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 6: Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation’s capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. A pro-Trump mob later stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Five people died as a result. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)</p>
A Maryland man has pleaded guilty to his role in the attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, and faces up to 28 years in prison.

Matthew Ryan Miller, 23, of Cooksville, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, the Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday.

The department said Miller threw objects at the Capitol; used temporary barriers as ladders to climb the walls of the west side of the plaza and helped other attackers to climb them; coordinated with part of the mob to push through a tunnel that law enforcement officers were trying to secure; and sprayed a fire extinguisher down the tunnel at officers.

He was arrested Jan. 25, 2021; his sentencing is set for May 23. Miller was freed after his arrest, but U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ordered him to be detained until his sentencing. He must report to jail by Feb. 23.

Miller has attended at least one rally by the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, but investigators found no evidence that he acted in concert with other group members on Jan. 6, according to prosecutors. He also self-identifies as a member of a group called the “Patriotic American Cowboys,” prosecutors said.

“If nothing else, the events of January 6, 2021, have exposed the size and determination of right-wing fringe groups in the United States, and their willingness to place themselves and others in danger to further their political ideology,” an assistant U.S. attorney, Kaitlin Vaillancourt, wrote in a court filing last year.

More than 725 people have been arrested for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which temporarily stopped Congress from counting the Electoral College votes that certified President Joe Biden’s win over Trump in the November 2020 election, the department said.

More than 225 people have been charged with assaulting law enforcement, while more than 165 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, including 22 to felonies, they said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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