Justice Department preps plea deals for rioters from viral video of cops trapped in Capitol tunnel

The Justice Department is preparing to offer guilty plea deals to four Capitol rioters who are accused of trapping police in a tunnel and attacking them with chemical sprays and firecrackers.

Federal prosecutors said at a court hearing Tuesday that their supervisors recently approved plea offers in the case, which revolves around one of the most violent clashes from January 6. A viral video of the incident shows a police officer shouting in pain while getting crushed in a doorway.

The plea deals will be offered “in the very near future,” prosecutor Jocelyn Bond said.

Four men were charged in this case: Patrick McCaughey of Connecticut, David Judd of Texas, Christopher Quaglin from New Jersey and Tristan Stevens from Florida. They pleaded not guilty.

Federal Judge Trevor McFadden ordered McCaughey’s release from jail during Tuesday’s hearing, saying that there isn’t enough proof that he attacked police, even though he clearly “committed various crimes” at the Capitol that day. Prosecutors specifically accused the other defendants of using chemical sprays, firecrackers and riot shields to assault officers, and two of them are still in jail.

This is one of many cases from the Capitol insurrection that is moving toward plea negotiations. So far, more than 400 people have been charged, and one defendant has already pleaded guilty.

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