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Press Release

Illinois Men Plead Guilty to Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

Defendants Are Brothers Who Assaulted Officers

            WASHINGTON — Two Illinois men, who are brothers, each pleaded guilty to a felony charge for their actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Their 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 presidential election.

            Daniel Leyden, 55, of Chicago, Illinois, pleaded guilty today to assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers. Joseph Leyden, 56, of La Grange, Illinois, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2023, to assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers. 

            A sentencing hearing for Daniel Leyden was scheduled for September 6, 2023; Joseph Leyden is scheduled for sentencing on August 29, 2023.

            According to court documents, Daniel and Joseph Leyden were among the rioters who were illegally on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. Shortly after 12:50 p.m., Daniel Leyden was in a crowd that confronted law enforcement officers at metal barricades near the Peace Circle. Daniel Leyden and other rioters repeatedly lifted and pushed a metal barricade. These actions caused a U.S. Capitol Police officer to fall backwards, pinning the officer under the barricade. At the same time, several other officers were also assaulted by the rioters with the barricade, including one who was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. Daniel Leyden’s actions contributed to injuries that these officers sustained and prevented officers from defending themselves and providing aid to one another. Daniel Leyden and other rioters then swarmed past the police.

            Joseph Leyden was among rioters at the West Plaza at the Capitol, where at approximately 1:14 p.m., rioters began to pull other metal barriers into the crowd, compromising the ability to law enforcement officers to re-establish a perimeter. Joseph Leyden advanced and rushed towards an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department. He then lunged at and pushed the officer.

            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 Illinois.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Chicago Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Daniel Leyden as #438 and Joseph Leyden as #386 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

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

Updated May 24, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-279