Defendant and Other Rioters Pushed Their Way Into the Building.
A Florida man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Andrew William Griswold, 33, of Niceville, Florida, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to civil disorder.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, at approximately 2:35 p.m., Griswold was in a crowd of rioters who were illegally outside the Capitol’s East Rotunda Doors. U.S. Capitol Police officers stood inside and outside the doors, guarding them. At least one person in the crowd sprayed a chemical irritant at officers. Minutes later, rioters who were already inside the Capitol – some wielding flagpoles – shoved past the police and pushed the doors open. Those outside the Capitol began to push their way inside the building. Others fought police in the doorway.
A group outside the doors gathered together and, shouting “Heave! Ho!” pushed, surging toward the entrance to the building. Griswold joined this group, pushing on a rioter in front of him and advancing toward the open doors. He entered the Capitol at approximately 2:40 p.m. Once inside, he made his way to the Gallery of the Senate.
Later, after leaving the building, while standing on the steps leading to the East Rotunda Doors, Griswold spoke with a member of the media, declaring, among other things, “We took the building. They couldn’t stop us,” and “Don’t mess with us. Back off. This is our country. We showed ‘em today. We took it. They ran. And hid.”
Griswold was arrested on March 5, 2021, in Pensacola, Florida. He is to be sentenced on July 13, 2022. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
The case was investigated by the Pensacola Resident Agency of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.