An active-duty U.S. Marine Corps officer was charged Thursday with assaulting a Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Maj. Christopher Warnagiris, 40, of Woodbridge, Virginia, is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, obstruction of justice, and other charges.
He is expected to appear in federal court in Northern Virginia Thursday afternoon. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Maj. Warnagiris violently pushed through a line of police officers to enter a door to the Capitol. Once inside, he used his body to keep the door open and pull others into the building, according to court documents.
When a Capitol Police officer tried to pull the door shut, Maj. Warnagiris resisted, pushing the officer and continuing to keep the door open, prosecutors said.
An FBI affidavit said a witness who formerly worked with Maj. Warnagiris identified him photographs posted on the internet and contacted the authorities.
The witness expressed “high confidence” that Maj. Warnagiris is the man in the video pushing the officer, according to court documents.
A second witness, who is also a co-worker, also fingered Maj. Warnagiris, prosecutors said.
At least 140 police officers were injured during the Capitol riot when supporters of Mr. Trump invaded the building to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory.
Maj. Warnagiris is at least the fifth service member charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that he is the first active-duty member to face criminal charges stemming from the riot.
Two Army reservists, a member of the Virginia Army National Guard and a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard were previously charged, according to the Justice Department. Dozens of military veterans also have been charged in the riot.
In a statement, the Marine Corps confirmed that Maj. Warnagiris is on active duty. He is currently assigned to the training and education command of the Marine AIr-Ground Task Force Staff Training Program at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia.
The Marine Corps condemned the action of the Capitol rioters in the statement.
“The Marine Corps is clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values,” the statement said.
“Participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isn’t tolerated by the Marine Corps,” the statement continued.
• Mike Glenn contributed to this story.