Florida Man Faces Charges for His Role in January 6 Capitol Breach

Michael Hennessey, a 38-year-old resident of Palm Harbor, Florida, was arrested on multiple charges stemming from his involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed charges that include a felony count of civil disorder and several misdemeanors such as entering and remaining in a restricted building and disruptive conduct.

Hennessey’s initial appearance is set in the Middle District of Florida following his arrest. He is accused of actively participating in the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol during the confirmation vote of the Presidential election results. This arrest is part of a broader crackdown following the Capitol riot, with over 1,385 individuals charged across the nation.

Court documents reveal that Hennessey traveled from Florida to Washington, D.C., to participate in the “Stop the Steal” rally. After the rally, he was filmed joining the crowd that marched towards the Capitol, eventually making their way into the building through the Senate Wing Door just minutes after the first breach.

Once inside, Hennessey was reportedly vocal, joining chants of “Our House” and moving towards significant locations within the Capitol, including the Senate Carriage Door and later, the House Majority Leader’s office. He is also accused of entering the Rotunda and being part of a group that pushed against Capitol Police officers.

The most intense confrontations cited in the allegations include Hennessey’s involvement in pushing past police lines in the Crypt, with the mob eventually reaching critical points near the Senate Chamber. Despite police efforts to repel the mob, Hennessey and others managed to advance, contributing to the chaos and disorder of the day.

After spending approximately 56 minutes inside, Hennessey exited the Capitol but remained on the restricted grounds, where he was seen in front of police lines on the East Plaza and near media equipment that had been abandoned due to threats from rioters.

This case underscores the ongoing legal repercussions of the Capitol breach, highlighting the continued efforts by federal authorities to prosecute those involved. The FBI’s Tampa and Washington Field Offices, along with U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department, played critical roles in the investigation leading to Hennessey’s charges.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, along with the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, is prosecuting the case, signaling the serious nature of the charges. As the judicial process unfolds, Hennessey, like all defendants, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This case is part of a larger narrative of accountability and justice following one of the most stark attacks on democratic processes in recent American history.

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