Off-duty DEA agent brought his government-issued gun to the Capitol riot, prosecutors say
An off-duty special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency carried his government-issued firearm while attending the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. Prosecutors say he posed for pictures while flashing his DEA badge and climbed onto the Peace Monument to film himself as he delivered a “monologue.”
Mark Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, was arrested Tuesday and charged with four crimes that include making a false statement and carrying a firearm on restricted grounds.
Court documents said Ibrahim entered restricted grounds outside the U.S. Capitol shortly after they’d been breached by the mob, and posted a photo standing next to one of the metal barricades that had recently been pulled apart. Prosecutors also said he sent photos of himself at the Capitol to a group chat on WhatsApp that included at least five other law enforcement officers.
One of the officers participating in the chat wrote, “Question Mark, you are carrying your duty weapon and your badge/creds? I need to know this mark.”
Charging documents described Ibrahim as a “probational employee” of the DEA, a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice, and said he had given notice that he planned to resign weeks before the Capitol assault. The DEA did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.
In March, Ibrahim gave a voluntary interview to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice and allegedly admitted to bringing his DEA credentials, DEA badge and firearm with him on January 6, but denied exposing them during the event. According to his charging documents, he told investigators, “I had my creds. I had my firearm, and my badge on me . . . But never exposed . . . Not that I know of.”
Prosecutors said that multiple photos show him posing to the camera while displaying his badge and service weapon.
He also allegedly told investigators that the FBI had asked his friend to document the events at the Capitol, and said he went with his friend to assist with that effort.
The friend, however, told the agent from the Inspector General’s office that he had not been at the Capitol in any formal capacity for the FBI, and said Ibrahim crafted that story to “cover his ass.” The friend also said Ibrahim had gone to the rally in order to promote himself: He wanted to launch a “Liberty Tavern” political podcast and cigar brand, and hoped the protests would be a launching stage, the friend said.
In the afternoon, Ibrahim climbed atop the Peace Monument, which stands to the west of the U.S. Capitol, and filmed himself “delivering a monologue,” prosecutors said. Bicycle rack barricades had previously surrounded the Peace Monument, but Ibrahim’s video showed that they had been pulled apart.
After Ashli Babbitt was shot by police that afternoon, prosecutors say she was transported “within steps” of Ibrahim as she was loaded onto an ambulance. Ibrahim’s friend, who stood near him, filmed her as she was taken past them, and Ibrahim posted the video to his WhatsApp group chat.
Ibrahim was also photographed carrying two flags: a so-called “Troutman Flag” that bears the words “Liberty or Death” and a so-called “Betsy Ross” flag, which some associate with the era of slavery.
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