Imprisoned Jan. 6 rioter faces five additional felony charges

Taylor Taranto, detained for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots on the U.S. Capitol, is facing 5 additional felony charges. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Department
1 of 3 | Taylor Taranto, detained for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots on the U.S. Capitol, is facing 5 additional felony charges. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Department

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A defendant in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot who was arrested near the Washington residence of former President Barack Obama has been indicted on five new felony charges, officials announced Thursday.

Taylor Taranto is facing charges related to guns and ammunition that were allegedly found in his van when he was arrested last summer. He also faces charges for threatening to detonate an explosive at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding for his conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, when rioters, some of whom were armed, stormed the Capitol at the behest of then-President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 election but refused to concede, and instead fomented violence and unrest on Congress as lawmakers gathered to vote to certify the election for Joe Biden.


Obama's address became public when Trump posted a photo on his Truth Social online platform on June 29 that included it.

Taranto reposted Trump's post on his own Truth Social account, then posted about being outside the residence that same day, prosecutors said.

A group of armchair investigators referred to as 'sedition hunters' initially identified Taranto in 2021 as having taken part in the Capitol riot, but he was not arrested until he was detained near Obama's home two years later.

After he was identified by the online investigators, but before his arrest, Taranto and another man, David Walls-Kaufman, were sued by the widow of the late Capitol police officer, Jeffrey Smith, who was assaulted on Jan. 6 and died by suicide days after the attack. His death was ruled to have occurred in the line of duty.

Taranto has been ordered held until trial, a date for which has been set for July. Before his arrest, Taranto was seen on live social media streams spending time near the Washington, D.C., jail where some of the Jan. 6 defendants are being held before their trials, and where supporters of the defendants have routinely gathered to show solidarity.


"We got these losers surrounded!" Taranto posted on Telegram, according to prosecutors. "See you in hell, Podesta's and Obama's."

Police arrested Taranto when they discovered the social media posts and that he had engaged in unusual behavior outside Obama's residence.

Taranto was eventually apprehended in the woods near Obama's home by Rock Creek Parkway while live streaming.

Formerly enlisted in the military, Taranto had "successfully worked for many years with a mental health therapist and psychiatrist" through the Veterans Affairs Department, according to a court ruling.

But in ordering Taranto held pre-trial, Judge Carl Nichols said he could not "be confident" that mental health treatment plans proposed by Taranto's attorney would provide "sufficient safeguards in light of Taranto's recent escalating behavior."

At least 1,250 defendants have been charged in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and prosecutors have secured more than 900 convictions. Hundreds more rioters have been identified but not arrested, including a man who appears to have fired a gun in the air during the attack in newly surfaced footage.

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