Two Montana brothers who were reportedly among a crowd seen in a viral video being led away by a police officer from an open door to the Senate chambers during the Capitol Hill riot earlier this month are now facing charges, court documents say.
Joshua and Jerod Hughes are accused of committing nine offenses each on Jan. 6, ranging from entering a restricted building without authorization to destruction of property, according to a criminal complaint filed late Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“While on the Senate floor, Joshua Calvin Hughes, Jerod Wade Hughes and other rioters sat in Senators’ chairs, opened Senators’ desks, and reviewed sensitive material stored therein,” the complaint adds.
The Hughes brothers are seen here chasing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, prosecutors say. (US District Court for the District of Columbia)
Prosecutors say both Hughes, who “believed they were wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” walked into the Helena Police Department on Jan. 11 to report their presence in the nation’s capital after seeing themselves in news coverage of the violent protests.
When an FBI special agent showed up there to interview both men, “they advised that they wanted to turn themselves in, and wanted to have an attorney present before they answered questions,” the complaint said. The Hughes were then allowed to leave after providing their contact information.
The brothers helped other rioters obtain entry into the U.S. Capitol Building. prosecutors allege. (US District Court for the District of Columbia)
The complaint alleges the Hughes were identified following a review of surveillance and social media footage and were among a “group of rioters who broke open windows and doors and forced entry into the United States Capitol building.”
“Once inside the Capitol, Jerod Wade Hughes, both on his own and with another rioter, kicked a door until the lock broke so that other rioters could enter the United States Capitol,” the complaint says.
Both men later seen on the U.S. Senate floor, according to prosecutors. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia)
The complaint says the men then allegedly became involved in the “confrontation with Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman,” who has been hailed after being seen in a viral video leading the mob away from a doorway heading to the Senate floor — which at the time had not been evacuated.
“Realizing that he could not prevent the mob from storming the Senate floor by himself, Officer Goodman baited the rioters into continuing to follow him — luring them away from the Senate floor and into an adjacent hallway,” it adds.
The Hughes later purportedly made it into the Senate chamber following its evacuation, according to the complaint.