(CBSDFW.COM) – The Department of Justice has begun filing charges against those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and among those groups were Texans who documented some of it on social media.
Two of those Texans are from the North Texas area and are currently waiting to see if they, too, will be charged.
Jenna Ryan of Frisco, a real estate broker and talk show host, posted a picture of her outside the U.S. Capitol building and in front of a broken window. The caption to the picture read: “Window at the capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next.”
Ryan sent a statement to CBS 11 News about the backlash she has received, saying “It was a peaceful protest, we exercised out right to free speech and peaceful protest. There was no violence. I did not break any window, I just posed by the window because I was taking photos all over DC all day. I did not go into the capital (sic).”
Ryan later added, “I do not condone the violence that occurred on January 6, 2020 and I am truly heartbroken for the people who lost their lives”
And then there was attorney Paul Davis of Westlake who’s now been fired from his job at Goosehead Insurance. A video posted by him on Instagram showed him outside of the Capitol, where he said he was tear-gassed.
There was another Texan, Midland resident and former mayoral candidate Jenny Cudd, who said “We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door.”
“Certainly breaking into the Capitol is a chargeable offense in perhaps a number of ways as simple trespass or a feral crime for doing some of the things that they did,” said Eric Cedillo, attorney and SMU law professor.
Cedillo said as they are all identified, the participants who stormed the Capitol could face very serious charges — not just because of what they did but also because a federal police officer died as a result of it.
“I think when the police officer passed away that changes everything that was game changers in the prosecution and the level of scrutiny they are going to take,” he said.
Cedillo said each individual’s role will be looked at and their defense will be determined by how much proof is provided of their actions.
“It will depend on the evidence that is brought to bare. Simply having your picture taken in front of the capitol may not be sufficient to maintain that you broke into the capitol, but if you crossed a barrier or your picture is on the other side of a barrier you shouldn’t have crossed then that may be problematic for them,” Cedillo said.
One of their strong defenses is that Capitol police officers actually let some of them in. Legal experts said none of the charges will be taken lightly.
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