Virginia school board member arrested on Jan. 6 charges

More than three years after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a Virginia school board member is facing several charges after federal prosecutors say he was caught on video entering the building and taking part in the disorder. 

Miles Adkins, 40, was arrested Tuesday and faces four charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating and or picketing inside a Capitol building.

Adkins is a member of the Frederick County School Board representing the Shawnee District, according to the school division’s website. Adkins told WTOP he was “not surprised at all” by the charges against him and believes the Jan. 6 charges are politically motivated.

“It’s an election year,” he said. “We see how the DOJ has weaponized against people that lean more right than center.”

Charging documents say Adkins was one of the first to enter the Capitol and “helped an individual enter the U.S. Capitol building through a broken window next to the Senate Wing Door.”

Miles Adkins (yellow circle) helping a rioter enter through a broken window next to the
Senate Wing Door. (Courtesy United States District Courts)

Open-source videos cited in court documents show Adkins walking around the Capitol, drinking alcohol and chanting at some points. The charging documents also say he bragged on Facebook about being in the Capitol that day, telling friends he drank a Fireball and Coors Lite inside the building.

When speaking to WTOP, Adkins maintains that he was exercising his right to freedom of speech and protest.

“I don’t regret exercising my First Amendment right,” Adkins said. “I don’t condone any of the violence that happened in there.”

During the investigation, Adkins first told the FBI he went to D.C. to hear then-President Donald Trump speak and then followed a large group to the Capitol, alleging there were no barriers for entry. He also told investigators that he had traveled to the District before Jan. 6 to act as an escort for members of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing extremist group.

The Washington Post reports Adkins has faced calls to resign from the school board. In the interview with WTOP, Adkins said he will not be leaving his position, adding that he and current board members try to keep it as “nonpartisan” as possible.

“I’m not going to be bullied out of this position, I was duly elected here, we’ve gotten a lot done,” he said. “We brought transparency back to the parents, before you couldn’t watch the videos (of meetings) without getting a FOIA request. Now, you can watch the meetings livestreamed.”

Screenshot from an open-source video of Miles Adkins chanting and demonstrating in the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol. (Courtesy United States District Courts)

The Post reported that parents have also complained about past controversies involving Adkins, including posting a video on Facebook showing other members of the board with devil horns and Adolf Hitler-style mustaches after they voted for a mask requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adkins told WTOP he has apologized for the video, stating it was posted by a parent that he also believes was exercising her right to free speech.Developing story,

When it comes to racially insensitive social media posts that also resurfaced from before he was on the school board, Adkins said those were “personal mistakes” and he hopes students can learn from him.

“What I do on the board has always been student-first, student-focused,” Adkins said. “That does show students out there that, you know, when you make mistakes, own up to it, atone for it, and then, you know, move on.”

Adkins is scheduled to appear in D.C. District Court again next week.

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Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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