Seattle man among first indicted for role in siege of US Capitol building
A former Washington state National Guardsman from Seattle is among the first people indicted for their role in the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol building.
Mark Jefferson Leffingwell, 51, was arrested while inside the Capitol in the wake of the riot, and was later charged with assaulting a federal officer, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct.
His indictment was issued by a federal grand jury on Monday, adding a second count of assault, as well as violent entry into a Capitol building, felony civil disobedience, and involvement in an act of violence in a Capitol building.
Leffingwell allegedly struck Capitol police officer Daniel Amendola in the helmet and chest when Amendola tried to stop him from entering the building, according to the DOJ. In a criminal complaint, Amendola stated: “When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was struck in the helmet that I was wearing and in the chest.”
According to the Seattle Times, Leffingwell served in the Washington National Guard between 2005 and 2009, before he was honorably discharged. After his arrest, he was reportedly released to a third party custodian, and will have to check in with pretrial services every week leading into his trial.
Federal authorities plan to file charges against hundreds of people allegedly involved in the Capitol riot, as part of an effort spearheaded by a “strike force of prosecutors whose only orders are to build sedition charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol,” acting District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said in a recent press conference. A conviction for sedition comes with a prison sentence of up to 20 years.