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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Seattle Man Pleads Guilty to Assault on Law Enforcement During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Admits to Punching Two Officers Inside the U.S. Capitol

            WASHINGTON – A Seattle, Washington man pleaded guilty today to assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            According to court documents, Mark Leffingwell, 52, made his way just inside the Senate Wing entrance of the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 4 p.m. on Jan. 6. He stood at the front of a crowd of people who had been rebuffed by a line of U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers who were preventing rioters from entering the building. After minutes of chanting, the crowd moved closer to the line of officers. Two Capitol Police officers attempted to keep the crowd, including Leffingwell, at bay by pushing them back. Leffingwell punched both officers, hitting one twice. He was eventually detained and arrested on Jan. 6.

            Leffingwell is to be sentenced on Feb. 10, 2022. He faces up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine for assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. A federal district court judge 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 and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the nine months since Jan. 6, more than 650 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 190 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.

Updated October 26, 2021