Lewis Kamb / The Seattle Times
A Kitsap County man was charged with disorderly conduct and intruding into the U.S. Capitol with a pro-Trump mob during the riot last year that attempted to prevent Congress from confirming the 2020 presidential election results accused.
John M. Cameron, 55, of Port Orchard, was indicted on Dec. 10 in the US District Court for the District of Columbia by a lawsuit filed under lock and key. Cameron, who surrendered to federal authorities on Wednesday, first appeared on the indictment in federal court in Tacoma. He has been released on bail and has yet to make a plea.
Cameron is the twelfth Washington State resident indicted in connection with the Capitol attack.
Cameron faces four criminal charges, including entering and staying in a restricted building or compound, according to indictments unsealed early Thursday – the anniversary of the Capitol break-in; disorderly and disruptive behavior in a restricted building or site; disorderly behavior in a Capitol; and parades, demonstrations, or pickets in a Capitol.
If convicted on all counts, he faces three years in prison and fines, according to information from the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC
In a phone call Thursday, Cameron’s Vancouver attorney Angus Lee described his client as a husband and father with no criminal record and said Cameron was “not charged with any form of violence or property destruction”.
“I think it’s important for people to understand,” said Lee. “He is essentially being prosecuted for the crime of striking or protesting in the wrong place.”
Cameron plans to officially make a plea of not guilty on all counts at its next hearing on Jan. 18, Lee said.
The likely affidavit by a federal agent unsealed on Thursday claims that Cameron was admitted to the Capitol on the afternoon of January 6, 2021 when the mob entered the building. The footage showed “a middle-aged man wearing a red baseball cap with white Make America Great Again” scripture, (and) a black hooded sweatshirt that was clipped by a white t-shirt that read, “COUNT ALL LEGAL VOTES.” was covered.
Two days after the riot, a tipster contacted the FBI and told them that Cameron had been at the so-called “Stop the Steal” protest rally before the attack on the Capitol. The tipster also provided agents with a link to Cameron’s Facebook page, which contained multiple posts, photos, and videos of Cameron – wearing the same clothes as the middle-aged man captured on the Capitol closed-circuit video – Before, during and after the attack it says in the affidavit.
“One such video contained the caption, Civil disobedience, in which rioters can be seen breaking through the secured areas of the scaffolding around the Capitol,” the affidavit reads. “In another video you can hear the crowd around Cameron singing: Let us in! Let us in! ❜”
Cameron added on the video that he “didn’t know who broke the doors of the Capitol,” the affidavit read. “He also said it was a fun, exciting, interesting and historical event.”
A federal agent later obtained an arrest warrant for Cameron’s cell phone data, suggesting that Cameron was on the Capitol grounds and inside the Capitol building between 2:09 p.m. and 3:51 p.m., according to the agent’s affidavit.
Cameron’s Facebook page, referring to himself as a “father, husband, real estate agent, sports fan”, remained active Thursday morning. Several photos and videos were also shown publicly showing his trip to Washington, DC, and participation in the Stop the Steal rally a year ago, including images and videos cited in loading documents.
The attack on the Capitol temporarily halted Congress certifying the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president as lawmakers fled and went into hiding for their safety. More than 150 police officers were injured and at least nine people died during or after the riot, including four protesters and five police officers.
The dead included a woman who was shot by an officer during the riot; two protesters who died of natural causes; and another protester who appears to have been crushed by the crowd after an accidental overdose. One officer attacked by the mob died the day after the riot after suffering multiple strokes, and four officers defending the Capitol have since died of suicide.