A Southwest Washington man was arrested and charged Thursday for entering the U.S. Capitol with a pro-Trump mob during last month’s deadly insurrection.
Jeffrey Grace, 61, of Battle Ground, Clark County, was arrested at his home in Washington and charged by complaint in the District of Columbia with one count of unauthorized entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, according to charging documents.
Grace made an initial appearance on the charge in federal court in Portland on Thursday afternoon. He faces up to one year in prison, if convicted.
It was not clear Thursday whether Grace had an attorney, and calls made to phone numbers listed for Grace were not immediately returned.
According to an FBI affidavit supporting Grace’s arrest, an informant called an FBI tip line on Jan. 19 after learning from a family member acquainted with Grace that he had been at the Capitol during the siege. Two days later, when FBI agents interviewed Grace outside of his home, he allegedly acknowledged traveling to Washington, D.C., with his son to sightsee and attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, the affidavit states.
Grace told the agents he got separated from his son after the rally, and walked with others to the Capitol and entered it through an open door, according to the affidavit. Once inside, Grace walked to the Rotunda, “picked up items that others had knocked over,” and “decided to leave after witnessing several people causing damage to Capitol property.”
Grace also allegedly took a metal pipe away from one man and “placed it behind a wooden object in the Rotunda,” the affidavit states. He later crawled out a broken window to get out of the building, it states.
Grace allegedly identified himself to agents as the bald man captured in the background of “widely distributed photographs” of another man carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the Rotunda. He told agents he wasn’t affiliated “with any group that advocated violence,” but he knew members of extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and 1% Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, according to the affidavit.
Grace is the third resident of Washington to be charged in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol. Mark Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle, a former Washington National Guardsman, was arrested inside the Capitol last month and charged with assaulting a federal officer and three other criminal counts.
Ethan Nordean, 30, who lives near Auburn and is a prominent member of the Proud Boys, was arrested and charged Wednesday with four federal counts related to planning and participating in the siege.
The Capitol attack temporarily halted Congress’ certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election as president and led to the deaths of five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.