Fourth Utahn Charged In Capital Insurrection
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A fourth Utah man was charged for taking part in the riot at the U.S. Capital in January that happened while Congress was in a joint session to certify the presidential Electoral College vote.
Willard Jake Peart of Toquerville in Washington County faces federal charges of Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority, Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds, Parading Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.
Peart and his attorney met FBI agents in Salt Lake City on January 20 to discuss his role in the insurrection, court documents said.
Peart said he traveled from Utah to the President Trump rally on January 6. He then walked over to the Capital. Peart said he wasn’t planning to go inside the Capitol Building but decided to follow other rioters.
The court document said Peart had his cellphone with him but it died before he walked into the Capitol. Peart told agents that he did not vandalize the building.
Peart handed over his cell phone to agents and they found selfies of him outside of the Capitol. Agents said he posted a selfie to Facebook.
The document said, “According to Peart, upon entering, he roved around the first floor between the Senate Chamber and Statuary Hall. While roving, Peart joined other rioters in chanting and calling out politicians.”
His phone did not have any photos from inside the Capitol. The FBI said they used investigation techniques to figure out that his phone was powered off at the time. The document said surveillance footage from inside the building confirmed Peart’s movements and that he did not cause any damage.
“Peart is seen entering the building and standing near the Senate Wing Door. Peart removed his jacket and hat, eventually pulling out a red Trump flag and wrapping himself in the flag,” the document said.
Peart will appear in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. at 11:30 Wednesday morning.
Three Utans were previously charged for taking part in the insurrection.
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