WASHINGTON – An Ohio man pleaded guilty on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, to a felony charge 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 2020 presidential election.
Michael Mackrell, 42, of Wellington, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers in the District of Columbia. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled sentencing for March 18, 2024.
According to court documents, Mackrell traveled from Ohio with his son, co-defendant Clifford Mackrell, 22, to Washington, D.C., to participate in a political rally at the Ellipse.
At the rally, Michael Mackrell wore an earthtone camouflage jacket, an earthtone camouflage baseball cap-style hat, green gloves, and black pants. He also carried a green backpack, walked with a dark-colored cane, and used an American flag gaiter to cover his mouth and nose. Following the speeches, he marched with his son to the Capitol.
On the way to the West Plaza, Michael Mackrell pushed back barricades with other rioters, forcing law enforcement to abandon their line and retreat closer to the Capitol building to form a new protective line without the use of barricades. By pushing open the barricades and walking into an area that had been cordoned off, the defendant unlawfully and knowingly entered and remained in a restricted area within the United States Capitol and its grounds, where the Vice President was temporarily visiting, without lawful authority to do so.
Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Michael Mackrell and his son positioned themselves on the front line of rioters. While there, Michael Mackrell engaged in multiple assaults and other unlawful conduct. In one instance captured on closed-circuit video, Michael Mackrell wrapped his arm around the neck of a U.S. Capitol Police officer and threw the officer to the ground. Moments later, video captured Michael Mackrell pushing an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) as the officer tried to help his fellow police hold a line against the rioters. Immediately after, video cameras captured Michael Mackrell as he tackled a third officer near the south side of the West Plaza, then rushed and tacked a fourth MPD officer, then tackled a fifth police officer on the West Plaza.
In another instance, a rioter started picking up a piece of what appeared to be plywood. An officer from the protective line jumped on the plywood to keep it on the ground. The officer jumped on the plywood, and Michael Mackrell and his son pushed the officer to the ground.
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 Ohio.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Mackrell as #454 on its seeking information photos. Michael Mackrell was identified following the arrest of his son. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 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.