Capitol riot defense lawyers will get tours from police who defended building

WASHINGTON – Lawyers for defendants facing charges from the Capitol riot Jan. 6 will get tours of the building by Capitol police who defended it during the attack, a prosecutor said Wednesday in a court filing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Cole announced the tour schedule in a filing for one of the defendants. The dates include May 3, 8, 9, 31 and June 5.

Tour participants are restricted to lawyers without guests. The lawyers are also blocked from taking pictures, although they can request pictures through the general counsel for Capitol police.

“The tours will be led by officers and questions about the events of January 6 will not be permitted,” Cole said in the letter to defense lawyers. “If you have questions, you can direct them to me.”

Ezekiel Stecher, in the camouflage hat, is among those arrested and charged with participating in the Capitol riot. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)

About 140 police officers were injured during the riot that temporarily halted Congress counting Electoral College votes that confirmed President Joe Biden’s victory. One officer died the next day from natural causes and two others died by suicide in the days following.

More than 400 people have been charged. Most charges allege the defendants entered a restricted building and destroyed property, but the most serious charges include assaulting police officers and obstructing Congress.

The tour will include a number of locations throughout the building, including doors where rioters entered, windows that were broken and stairways they climbed. The locations include:

  • The Speaker’s Lobby, a hallway outside the House chamber where a woman was shot and killed by police.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where rioters sat at her desk and allegedly stole materials.
  • The House chamber, where lawmakers barricaded themselves as rioters poured through the building.
  • The Senate chamber, where rioters sat at the presiding officer’s desk and looked through papers in the historic mahogany desks on the floor.
  • The Rotunda, Statuary Hall and crypt where rioters photographed themselves.

Cole filed the announcement in the case against Ezekiel Stecher, who was charged with entering a restricted building or grounds, disrupting government business and engaging in physical violence.

The FBI said video showed Stecher forcibly pushing against assaulted police officers in an attempt to enter the building from the Lower West Terrace and continuing the attempt after police sprayed him with chemical irritant.

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