Last week, images appearing to show a smiling man absconding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) lectern went viral in the wake of a riot on Capitol Hill.
Now federal authorities say that they have arrested the man in question, and he’s facing some serious charges.
36-year-old Florida man Adam Christian Johnson was arrested Friday after being identified by an acquaintance and was taken to the Pinellas County jail. On Saturday, he was charged in federal court with “one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Adam Johnson, man photographed carrying Pelosi’s lectern, has been arrested https://t.co/e1jU171fe3
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 9, 2021
The lectern is reportedly valued at over $1,000 and was found later in the Senate wing of the Capitol by staffers, the Bradenton Herald reported.
Some 52 other people were arrested for their actions in the fracas, with prosecutors planning to pursue cases against at least 15 individuals thus far, the Washington Examiner reported.
West Virginia state representative arrested
ABC News reported that among those taken into custody was West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans, a Republican who was just elected this past November.
Evans is now facing charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds. According to ABC News, Evans announced via social media that he would be stepping down from his position and pledged to take “full responsibility for my actions.”
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans stated.
However, Evans’ attorney released a statement of his own saying that the Republican politician “did nothing wrong” and was operating as an “independent activist and journalist.”
“He was exercising his First Amendment rights to peacefully protest and ﬁlm a historic and dynamic event,” it read, contending that Evans “engaged in no violence, no rioting, no destruction of property, and no illegal behavior.”
Biden makes it a racial issue
For his part, President-elect Joe Biden injected race into the events last week, claiming in remarks on Thursday that members of the U.S. Capitol Police went easy on the pro-Trump crowd because its members were mostly white.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,” Fox News quoted him as saying.