Senate holds first public hearing on Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Mike Hayes and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT) February 23, 2021
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10:13 a.m. ET, February 23, 2021

All 4 requested witnesses plan to testify at today's hearing on the Capitol attack

From CNN's Jessica Dean

All four of the requested witnesses are slated to testify during today's Senate hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Senate Rules committees invited the following witnesses to testify based on their critical roles in security planning for the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6:

  • Metropolitan Police Acting Chief Robert Contee
  • Former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving
  • Former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger
  • Former United States Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund

As CNN previously reported, a committee aide described Tuesday’s hearing as a first opportunity to get answers to key questions surrounding the events of Jan. 6, including why the response from law enforcement was delayed and why the rioters were allowed to breach the building.

9:24 a.m. ET, February 23, 2021

At least 250 people have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot

From CNN's Paul Murphy, Marshall Cohen and Hannah Rabinowitz

Federal prosecutors have charged at least 250 people in connection with the Capitol riot, according to a CNN analysis of court records and Department of Justice announcements.

These defendants come from 40 states and the District of Columbia, according to a CNN analysis. 

Not surprisingly, there are more defendants hailing from the largest states in the country, like Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and California. But when analyzed on a per capita basis, the states with the most defendants as a share of the population are Montana, Biden’s home state of Delaware, and Pennsylvania. 

There are 10 states that don’t have any defendants – primarily smaller states scattered across the country. 

Ryan Ashlock of Westwood, Kansas, was the latest to be charged. He is facing charges of conspiracy, obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, obstruction of Congress and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building.  

The conspiracy charge is in connection with a group of five other individuals, said to be associated with the Proud Boys, that investigators previously charged with conspiracy in connection to the Capitol riot.  

"ASHLOCK moved closely with the other subjects in proximity, but also appeared to gesture and communicate to one another before entering the Capitol in an apparent effort to coordinate their efforts, before ASHLOCK ultimately separated from the other subjects," investigators wrote in an affidavit.  

Like the others charged by prosecutors in the conspiracy, investigators say that Ashlock wore orange tape on his clothing, in addition to, "tactical style gear, including a vest, goggles, knee pads, and gloves."

They also identified him as an individual seen in video pushing against a police barricade outside the Capitol and being pepper sprayed by police. 

There's no information, according to the affidavit, that Ashlock made it into the Capitol building.  

The FBI investigator that authored the affidavit also explicitly stated it's still under investigation, saying that there may be others that could be charged in this specific conspiracy.