Rioters fight with police at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. The three men who were convicted on Tuesday took part in the attack and face prison time. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington has convicted three men on a number of charges for participating in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, several of which are felony offenses.
The men were convicted on Tuesday at the conclusion of a bench trial. The convictions were the latest in a string of victories for federal prosecutors, who have investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases since the attack.
The judge said the men -- Patrick McCaughey, Tristan Stevens and David Mehaffie -- joined in the melee on Jan. 6, which was started by radical supporters of former President Donald Trump who wanted to disrupt Congress' certification of Joe Biden as president-elect.
The charges against the men include assault, civil disorder and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers.
McCaughey was convicted on nine charges, including seven felonies. Mehaffie was convicted on two counts of assault and resisting or impeding police officers. Stevens was convicted of five felonies, including civil disorder, felony assault and resisting or impeding police officers.
Police are seen inside a hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021, as they try to secure the area against radical supporters of Donald Trump. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Mehaffle and Stevens were each found not guilty on the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, a more serious crime that would have resulted in more prison time.
"McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie all traveled to Washington, D.C., from their respective homes. Each illegally made his way on to the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol," the Justice Department said in a statement.
"McCaughey and Stevens taunted officers at the West Front and Mehaffie yelled at nearby rioters who were hesitating to illegally cross the outer perimeter."
McCaughey was captured on video at the Capitol attack crushing a Washington police officer in a door frame. He faces as many as 20 years in prison.
Mehaffie was also captured on video, saying at one point, "If we can't fight over this wall, we can't win this battle." That clip was played at trial. Following the attack, social media sleuths and facial recognition technology eventually led to Mehaffie's arrest.
Stevens will be sentenced first on Jan. 13, McCaughey on Jan. 26 and Mehaffie Jan. 27.
The defendants chose a bench trial that was ultimately assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee.
McFadden had previously acquitted two people on misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol attack. This week, he became the first judge to grant an acquittal on felony charges in the case.
The charges against McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie grew out of a clash between rioters and U.S. Capitol Police near the lower West Terrace Tunnel, where scaffolding had been set up for Biden's inauguration. Some officers received serious injuries during the fighting.
The Justice Department says that nearly 900 people have been arrested so far for the attack at the Capitol. About 265 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Prosecutors have won convictions in every Jan. 6 case that went through a jury trial. Defendants can request a bench trial, in which judges decide whether a person is guilty.