WASHINGTON — A retired US Capitol Police officer who told a rioter on Jan. 6 to remove his posts about the Capitol storming was sentenced Thursday to 120 days in home prison. Michael Riley was convicted in October of one of two counts of obstruction of justice. After the attack on the Capitol, he sent a message on January 6 to troublemaker Jacob Hiles, a sea captain he knew from Facebook, telling Hiles that he was «a capitol police officer who agrees with his political stance» and that Hiles should «take out the part about being in the building they’re investigating correctly and everyone who was in the building will be charged. Just looking!»
Riley was convicted of deleting his messages with the troublemaker after learning that Hiles had been talking to the FBI, but the jury did not reach a verdict on whether Riley’s initial messages to Hiles were illegal.
Your period of home confinement will be served as part of a two-year probationary period.
In court Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Howland said Riley’s actions were a «fundamental betrayal» of the defendant’s oath and that Riley «failed to stand his ground» as so many other officers had on Jan. 6.
“If anyone should have known the seriousness of what happened on January 6, it was the defendant,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced Riley on Thursday, said it was «shocking conduct for any member of law enforcement» and even worse for someone who served on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.
Riley apologized in court on Thursday, saying she lost many friends because of her actions, which had a severe impact on her family and her own health.
«The burden is overwhelming,» he said, adding that the actions of the rioters on January 6 «have no place in our society.»
Riley said what he did after the riots was «stupid and reckless» but said he «never thought he was breaking the law.» He said that he is sorry for his actions every day.