A federal grand jury has indicted a former Washington National Guard member of crime. He claimed he broke into the US Capitol with the insurgent mob last week and repeatedly hit a federal police officer.
Mark Jefferson Leffingwell, 51, of Seattle, was arrested at the Capitol last Wednesday and Monday became one of the first to be indicted following the deadly siege by supporters of President Donald Trump last week for disrupting Congress certification of Joe Biden’s election as president.
Leffingwell was charged in a criminal complaint last week of assaulting a federal official, entering or staying in a restricted building and behaving in disorder. The indictment, filed on Monday, adds four additional charges, including a second number of assaults, violent entry into a Capitol building, involvement in an act of violence in a Capitol building, and civil disobedience to criminal offenses, which includes sentences of up to ten years in prison takes 5 years.
Leffingwell served in the Washington National Guard from 2005 to 2009 and deployed to Iraq with the 81st Brigade, a Washington Military Department spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. He was honorably discharged in 2009, she said.
Shortly after Tuesday noon, no one opened the door to Leffingwell’s modest, light gray house about a mile north of Seattle’s Wedgwood Elementary School, where an American flag was flying over half of the staff. The house’s blinds were drawn and a Christmas wreath was still hanging on the front door.
A short time later, a man with glasses and thick gray hair, who was holding a folder of Manila files, told a reporter from the house’s gravel driveway that Leffingwell was not there. “None of your business,” replied the man when asked when Leffingwell could be back.
Leffingwell was released because of his personal appreciation to a third party administrator – his wife – and is due to appear in court weekly until trial, according to a spokesman for the US attorney for the Western Washington District.
Leffingwell’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
According to a factual statement filed in federal court last week, Capitol Police officer Daniel Amendola said he and other officials were trying to create a barrier to prevent the mob from entering the Capitol building further than he was last Wednesday afternoon met Leffingwell trying to push past him.
“When he was prevented from entering the building, Leffingwell hit me repeatedly with a closed fist. I was hit in the helmet I was wearing and in the chest, ”Amendola wrote. He and other officers were able to subdue and arrest Leffingwell.
“While he was in custody, but before he was informed by his Miranda, Leffingwell spontaneously apologized to me for beating me,” the complaint said.
Leffingwell is among several military veterans and service members reportedly being investigated for their role in the Capitol uprising that killed five people, including a Capitol police officer.
“At this point in time, the (Washington) National Guard is not checking whether current / former guardsmen have attended the events in DC,” a spokesman said Tuesday.
According to news, some veterans and active duty members could potentially be prosecuted for involvement in the deadly siege, and at least two national veterans groups have announced plans to purge any member found guilty in the attack on the Capitol.