WASHINGTON – A Georgia man was convicted on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in the District of Columbia of three charges related to his conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Jake Maxwell, 22, of Athens, Georgia, was found guilty of civil disorder, a felony, and two misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon.
Judge Leon will sentence Maxwell on Feb. 22, 2024.
According to the government’s evidence, Maxwell traveled from his home in Georgia to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally near the Ellipse and afterward made his way to the U.S. Capitol building and grounds. Maxwell arrived at the West Plaza, where police had established a line extending the length of the Capitol building on the West front. The officers here were faced with a fast-growing number of rioters in the restricted area. A group of rioters, including Maxwell, eventually broke through the police lines and made their way further toward the Capitol.
During the breach of the police lines, Maxwell obstructed, impeded, and interfered with police officers. Maxwell banged on and pushed the riot shield of a United States Capitol Police officer and grabbed a Metropolitan Police Department officer’s baton. Then, Maxwell made his way to scaffolding erected for the upcoming Inauguration. Here, Maxwell was among the first rioters to breach the Inaugural Stage and cheered to the crowd of rioters from atop the balcony. Maxwell then made his way to just outside the Lower West Terrace Tunnel, the site of some of the more violent attacks against police on January 6th.
After approaching the Tunnel’s exterior, Maxwell moved closer to the Capitol building again, reaching the Upper West Terrace by approximately 3:07 p.m. After positioning himself at a railing along the Upper West Terrace, Maxwell proceeded to cheer, raise flags, laugh, and talk with other rioters for well over an hour. From his vantage point, he would have been able to look down at the violence occurring at the Tunnel below.
By 4:59 p.m., Maxwell had returned to the Tunnel and positioned himself outside the site as rioters made increasingly violent efforts to break through the line of officers protecting the area. As rioters screamed, flashed strobe lights at officers, and threw large objects into the mouth of the Tunnel, Maxwell watched. In all, Maxwell is estimated to have been on the Capitol grounds for approximately three hours that day.
Maxwell was arrested on Feb. 9, 2022, in Georgia by the FBI.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Atlanta and Washington Field Offices, which identified Maxwell as #474 in its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,200 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.