Two Illinois men, who are brothers, have entered guilty pleas for their involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Daniel Leyden, 55, pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers, while his brother Joseph Leyden, 56, pleaded guilty to the same charge. These actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was convened to count and ascertain the electoral votes from the presidential election. The sentencing hearings for the Leyden brothers have been scheduled for August 29 and September 6, 2023. These guilty pleas come as part of the ongoing investigation into the events of January 6, which has led to over 1,000 arrests across the United States.
Illinois Men Plead Guilty to Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
In a significant development related to the events of January 6, 2021, two Illinois men have pleaded guilty to a felony charge for their actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on that day. These individuals are Daniel Leyden and Joseph Leyden, who are brothers. Their actions, along with those of others, led to the disruption of a joint session of the U.S. Congress, which had been convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Defendants and Charges
Daniel Leyden’s Plea
Joseph Leyden’s Plea
Daniel Leyden, aged 55 and a resident of Chicago, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers. On the other hand, Joseph Leyden, aged 56 and a resident of La Grange, Illinois, pleaded guilty to the same charge on May 23, 2023.
Daniel Leyden’s Sentencing
Joseph Leyden’s Sentencing
The sentencing hearing for Daniel Leyden has been scheduled for September 6, 2023, while Joseph Leyden is slated to be sentenced on August 29, 2023. The sentences handed down by the court will likely reflect the severity of their actions and the impact they had on the law enforcement officers involved during the Capitol breach.
Actions During the Capitol Breach
Daniel Leyden’s Involvement
Joseph Leyden’s Involvement
Court documents reveal that both Daniel and Joseph Leyden were among the rioters who unlawfully entered the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. Daniel Leyden was part of a crowd that confronted law enforcement officers near the Peace Circle at around 12:50 p.m. During this encounter, he and other rioters repeatedly lifted and pushed a metal barricade, causing a U.S. Capitol Police officer to fall backwards and become pinned under the barricade. Several other officers were also assaulted with the barricade, resulting in one officer being knocked unconscious and sustaining a concussion. Daniel Leyden’s actions led to the injuries suffered by these officers and hindered their ability to defend themselves and provide aid to one another. Subsequently, he and the other rioters overran the police.
Joseph Leyden, on the other hand, was one of the rioters present at the West Plaza of the Capitol. At approximately 1:14 p.m., a group of rioters started pulling metal barriers into the crowd, thereby compromising the ability of law enforcement officers to re-establish a perimeter. During this time, Joseph Leyden advanced towards an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department and lunged at and pushed the officer.
Prosecution and Investigation
Prosecution by U.S. Attorney’s Office
Assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois
Investigation by FBI’s Chicago Field Office and Washington Field Office
Assistance from U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are handling the prosecution of the Leyden brothers. Additionally, valuable assistance has been provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The FBI’s Chicago Field Office and Washington Field Office have been conducting the investigation into the actions of Daniel and Joseph Leyden. Daniel is identified as #438, and Joseph is identified as #386 on the FBI’s seeking information photos. The investigative efforts have been bolstered by the assistance of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Scope of Investigation
Number of Arrests Since Jan. 6, 2021
Charges Related to Assaulting or Impeding Law Enforcement
In the 28-month period following the events of January 6, 2021, authorities have arrested over 1000 individuals in nearly all 50 states for crimes associated with the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Among these arrests, more than 320 individuals have been charged specifically with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. These statistics highlight the significant scope of the investigation and the determination of law enforcement agencies to hold accountable those responsible for the violence and disruption caused on that day.
Continued Tips and Information
The investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, remains ongoing. Authorities continue to encourage individuals with any information pertaining to the breach of the U.S. Capitol to come forward and provide tips. Any valuable information can significantly contribute to the ongoing effort to uncover the full extent of the violence and identify all individuals responsible for the unlawful activities witnessed on that day.
Updates on the Case
As the cases against Daniel Leyden and Joseph Leyden progress through the legal system, updates will be provided to the public regarding any significant developments. These updates will shed light on the outcomes of their sentencing hearings and the overall impact of these guilty pleas on the broader investigation into the events of January 6, 2021.
Social Media Accounts
Individuals who possess information relevant to the January 6 Capitol breach are urged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov to submit tips electronically. The FBI appreciates the assistance of the public in its ongoing efforts to bring all individuals involved in the unlawful activities to justice.
For further updates and information, follow the official social media accounts of relevant agencies and departments involved in the investigation.
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