Days after a Republican senator said the US Capitol attack wasn’t an “armed insurrection,” a Maryland man pleaded not guilty to carrying a loaded handgun on the Capitol grounds on the day of the attack.
Christopher Alberts, one of the first men charged in the insurrection, pleaded not guilty in DC federal court on Thursday.
According to court documents, Alberts was arrested after he tried to flee police officers while leaving the Capitol grounds. Investigators said that three officers tackled him and found he was carrying a loaded 9mm handgun, 25 rounds of ammunition, a gas mask, pocket-knife, first aid kit and one military meal.
Alberts faces four federal charges: carrying a gun at the Capitol, unlawful entry onto restricted grounds, carrying a gun without a license, and possessing a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Alberts’ lawyer declined to comment on the charges.
His charges undercut GOP attempts to downplay the attack.
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said last week that “when you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask: How many firearms were confiscated?”
Based on a review of court documents, Alberts appears to be the only person charged with carrying a loaded gun on the Capitol grounds. But many of the rioters had weapons with them at the Capitol, including members of paramilitary organizations.
Some of the weapons used include a baseball bat, a fire extinguisher, a wooden club, a spear, crutches, a flagpole, bear spray, mace, chemical irritants, stolen police shields, a wooden beam, a hockey stick, a stun gun and knives.
“To call that an armed insurrection, it was the most pitiful armed insurrection anybody could ever possibly imagine,” Johnson said.