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Press Release

Illinois Man Sentenced for Assaulting Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Assaulted Police Officer and Rammed Capitol Doors with Bike Rack

            WASHINGTON – An Illinois man was sentenced today for assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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.

            James McNamara, 61, of Chicago, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to 12 months in prison, 24 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution. McNamara pleaded guilty on May 8, 2023, to one count of assaulting a federal officer.

            According to court documents, McNamara traveled from his home in Illinois to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally with an acquaintance and arrived at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. When McNamara arrived at the Capitol, court documents say that he made his way to the West Terrace and proceeded to the North doors of the building. Here, McNamara observed a crowd attempting to gain access through the closed North doors.  

            At approximately 3:13 p.m., McNamara witnessed protestors being forcibly removed from the building through the closed North doors by law enforcement officers. McNamara then ascended the steps toward the doors and lunged at the officers, swinging his arms with a clenched fist. Court documents say that McNamara swung his arms and fist at a Metropolitan Police Department Officer.

            According to court records, McNamara then picked up a bike rack and used it to ram the outer set of closed doors. McNamara rammed the doors with the bike rack at least four times.  McNamara was later able to enter the outer set of closed doors before being forced away by law enforcement.

            This case was 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 Illinois.

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Chicago Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified McNamara as #471 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Updated August 11, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-450