Two men from Colorado have been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to their conduct 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 2020 presidential election.
Eric Zeis, 37, of Monument, Colorado, and Justin Schulze, 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, are charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with a felony offense of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. In addition to the felony, the two are charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including 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.
Zeis and Schulze were arrested on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in Colorado and made their initial appearance in the District of Colorado.
According to court documents, Zeis and Schulze drove from their home in Colorado to Washington, D.C., to attend the former President’s speech and “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. After the rally, the two made their way to the east side of the Capitol building, where they joined a large group of rioters that had forced United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers to retreat from their positions to the East Rotunda doors.
Zeis and Schulze then positioned themselves in a large group outside the East Rotunda doors that pushed against USCP officers to get inside. USCP officers made numerous commands for the crowd to stop and deployed OC spray to no avail. Members of the mob chanted “Stop the Steal!” and “Our house!” as rioters banged on the glass windows. At approximately 2:25 p.m., the Rotunda door was successfully breached by rioters, and the duo entered shortly after.
The pair then made their way to varying parts of the Capitol, such as the Rotunda, Statuary Hall, the hallways between the House Chamber and the Speaker’s Lobby, and the Statuary Hall Connector, where they emersed themselves in a large group confronting officers guarding the U.S House of Representatives chambers.
Zeis and Schulze eventually retraced their steps back throughout the Capitol but, before exiting, stopped in the Rotunda. Here, Zeis is seen, in an open-source video, joining a group that collectively pushed officers. The two then left the building at about 3:07 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 Colorado.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Denver and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,200 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.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.