WASHINGTON — A Maine man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting two law enforcement officers, for his actions 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 presidential election.
Matthew Brackley, 39, of Waldoboro, Maine, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and civil disorder. In addition, Brackley is charged with misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; act of physical violence in the capitol grounds or buildings; and parading, picketing, and demonstrating in a capitol building.
Brackley was arrested today in Waldoboro and made his initial appearance in the District of Maine.
According to court documents, Brackley traveled from his home in Maine to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on the National Mall. After the rally, Brackley walked to the U.S. Capitol, arriving on the west lawn at about 1:40 p.m., where a large crowd had gathered. Brackley stood in the crowd near the Lower West Terrace, where a police line had formed to keep people from advancing towards the Capitol.
Brackley then approached a set of stairs underneath the scaffolding erected to construct the inaugural stage. Soon rioters began to climb onto the scaffolding and tore up the white tarp covering it, giving Brackley and others greater access to the stairs. Brackley and other rioters then flooded the stairs and advanced toward the Capitol.
Brackley entered the U.S. Capitol via the Senate wing doors at approximately 2:23 p.m., only ten minutes after they were first breached. Brackley then made his way to the Crypt, where a large group of rioters had assembled and were pushing against police lines. The rioters then pushed past police and further into the Crypt.
As Brackley and the rioters made their way through the Crypt toward the Senate Chambers, they were again stopped by police. Court records say that police instructed Brackley and others to “back up”; however, Brackley did not retreat and asked the officers where the Speaker of the House’s office was located. Brackley then turned to the crowd behind him, shouted, “Let’s go!”, leaned forward, and used both arms to push through the officers before him.
Brackley then led the crowd toward the Senate chamber and was again halted by police. Officers deployed chemical spray causing Brackley and other rioters to retreat from the area. Brackley exited the Capitol building at approximately 3:05 p.m.
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 District of Maine.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Boston and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 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. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.