A former Virginia police officer was convicted on Monday of trying to obstruct Congress on Jan. 6 and other crimes, notching prosecutors another jury trial win in a case related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Thomas Robertson, a former Rocky Mount, Va. police officer, was charged in a six-count indictment with obstructing an official proceedings, entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct inside restricted grounds and disorderly conduct inside a Capitol building. The jury ultimately found him guilty on all counts.
Early last month, Robertson’s former co-defendant, ex-K9 unit officer Jacob Fracker, pleaded down to a single conspiracy count and testified against his former friend during the trial. The March 11 plea agreement obligated Fracker to cooperate “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” with the government, a deal that included trial testimony against his close friend and colleague.
Fracker reportedly called it uncomfortable to have testified against a man he used to call “Dad,” according to the local TV station WSLS.
On Nov. 7, 2020, the day that the major TV networks called the election for President Joe Biden, Robertson began posting on Facebook about what he described as the illegitimacy of the election.
“A legitimate republic stands on 4 boxes,” Robertson wrote, according to prosecutors. “The soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and then the cartridge box. We just moved to step 3. Step 4 will not be pretty. I cannot speak for others, but being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line. I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. Im [sic] about to become part of one, and a very effective one.”
On Jan. 6, Robertson and Fracker drove with a neighbor to Washington, D.C. Robertson brought three gas masks and a large stick, Fracker said.
According to prosecutors, Robertson, Fracker and the neighbor wore those gas masks as they approached the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol building. Both Robertson and Fracker traveled with their police ID badges and Rocky Mount Police Department-issued firearms.
After the breach of the Capitol, Fracker admitted, he boasted on social media that he had taken a “piss” in “Nancy P’s toilet,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Robertson also allegedly bragged about his exploits online.
“CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business . . . [t]he right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol,” he is quoted as saying in social media posts, according to the FBI. “Keep poking us.”
In a Jan. 12, 2020 report, Robertson told WSET-TV that neither he nor Fracker participated in violence or property damage on Jan. 6th.
Both were arrested on Jan. 13, 2020, a day after the segment aired. Both Robertson and Fracker were fired days later amid their prosecution and the wide dissemination of a selfie that they took in front of a statue of Revolutionary War Major General John Stark.
In the lead up to trial, prosecutors raised alarms about what the FBI found inside Robertson’s home: components that authorities said “could be used to readily assemble” an “improvised explosive device.” Robertson claimed that what prosecutors describe as a “partially-assembled pipe bomb” found in his home in June was actually a “prop for training.”
Robertson’s case represented the third U.S. Capitol breach to go to trial. The first, involving militia member Guy Reffitt, ended in his conviction.
The sole Jan. 6 acquittal to date occurred during a bench trial before a Donald Trump-appointed federal judge.
Matthew Martin, a New Mexico man who called the siege of the Capitol “magical,” was acquitted by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden.
(Photos via DOJ)
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