Michigan Man Found Guilty of Charges for Actions Related to Capitol Breach
Defendant Was Among First Rioters to Enter Building, Resisted Law Enforcement Officers in the Rotunda
WASHINGTON – A Michigan man was found guilty by a jury in the District of Columbia today of felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions 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 presidential election.
Anthony Robert Williams 47, of Southgate, Michigan, was found guilty of the felony offense of obstruction of an official proceeding and four related misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building. The trial was before Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell.
According to the government’s evidence, in the weeks leading to Jan. 6, 2021, Williams posted various statements on social media, saying, among other things, that he intended to travel to Washington to “storm the swamp.” He posted numerous messages using hashtags such as #HOLDTHELINE and #NORETREAT NO SURRENDER.” He recorded videos of himself when he was illegally inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6.
By 2:11 p.m. on Jan. 6, Williams was on the Northwest stairs outside the building. He used bike racks put into place by police officers to assist other rioters in getting onto the stairs. Williams himself raised his arms as he scaled the railing after rioters broke through the line of officers. He was in a wave of rioters that entered the Senate Wing door at 2:18 p.m., just five minutes after that door was breached in the first breach of the building by rioters that day. He then went to the Crypt and was close to the front of the line of officers when rioters broke through.
Williams then went to the Rotunda, where he filmed himself making statements such as “desperate times, desperate measures.” He resisted efforts of law enforcement officers to push the mob out of the area, holding the line for his side in the Rotunda. He was one of the last rioters to be pushed out of that area. He was in the Capitol Building for about one hour.
Williams was arrested on March 26, 2021, in Detroit.
He later boasted about his actions on social media, saying in one post on April 19, “I was in the Capitol and have absolutely no remorse or fear in saying or doing it.”
Williams is to be sentenced on Sept. 16, 2022. The felony obstruction charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. The four misdemeanor offenses carry a combined statutory maximum of three years of incarceration and potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Western District of Missouri.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 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.