On August 29, 2023, Philip Anderson, a 28-year-old man from Mesquite, Texas, was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges for his involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Anderson’s actions, along with those of others, disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was convened to certify the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. He faces charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. The arrest comes as part of the ongoing efforts to hold individuals accountable for their roles in the attack on the Capitol.
Heading 1: Arrest and Charges
Philip Anderson, a 28-year-old man from Mesquite, Texas, has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. These charges stem from the disruption of a joint session of the U.S. Congress, which was convened to count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Anderson is facing felony charges of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. These charges reflect the seriousness of his actions, which contributed to the chaos and unlawfulness of the events at the Capitol.
In addition to the felony charges, Anderson is also facing misdemeanor charges. These include entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. These charges further highlight Anderson’s involvement in the unlawful activities that took place that day.
Heading 2: Background
To understand Anderson’s actions at the Capitol, it is essential to provide some background information.
Stop the Steal Rally
On January 6, 2021, a rally called “Stop the Steal” took place in Washington, D.C. Anderson attended this rally, held on the National Mall, before proceeding to the U.S. Capitol building.
Identification of Philip Anderson
Anderson was identified through open-source video footage, where he can be seen speaking into a megaphone on or near the Capitol grounds, amidst a large crowd of rioters. He was wearing a gray “TRUMP 2020: Make America Great Again” sweatshirt, blue jeans, and occasionally a red ball cap. His identification was crucial in linking him to the events that unfolded that day.
Heading 3: Actions at the Capitol
Anderson’s actions at the Capitol were varied and contributed to the unlawful activities that took place.
Standing on Top of a Statue
Photographs from that day captured Anderson standing on top of a statue at the Peace Circle, raising a megaphone in the air. This act demonstrated his active participation and engagement in the events.
Entering the Capitol
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage captured Anderson entering the Capitol through the Senate Wing Door at around 3:17 p.m. Within a minute, he exited the building through the same door. These actions clearly show his unlawful entry into the restricted area.
Speeches on the Capitol Grounds
After leaving the Capitol building, Anderson gave several speeches on the restricted Capitol grounds. His presence and vocalization further exacerbated the tense atmosphere and contributed to the disruption of the official proceedings.
Involvement in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel
CCTV footage and open-source videos show Anderson in the Lower West Terrace tunnel, among a crowd of rioters. He can be seen pushing against the police line in an attempt to gain access to the Capitol. Anderson’s involvement in this tunnel is significant as it demonstrates his active participation in breaching the line of law enforcement.
Participating in the ‘Heave-Ho’ Push
Anderson joined the mob in what is referred to as a “heave-ho” push toward the entrance of the tunnel. This coordinated effort was aimed at advancing further into the tunnel and breaching the line of law enforcement. Anderson’s participation highlights his role in the unlawful activities that unfolded at the Capitol.
Repelled by Law Enforcement
At approximately 4:16 p.m., CCTV footage captured Anderson waving his arm, encouraging other rioters to advance further into the tunnel. He also pushed other rioters aside, demonstrating his determination to get closer to the police line and Capitol entrance. Anderson was eventually repelled by law enforcement in the tunnel.
Heading 4: Prosecution and Investigation
Several law enforcement agencies and offices are involved in the prosecution and investigation of Anderson’s actions during the Capitol breach.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is leading the prosecution of Anderson. They are responsible for ensuring that justice is served in this case.
Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section
The Department of Justice’s National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section is also involved in the prosecution of Anderson. Their expertise in national security matters makes them a vital component in handling cases related to the Capitol breach.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas provided valuable assistance in this case. Cooperation between jurisdictions is crucial in ensuring a thorough and comprehensive investigation.
FBI’s Dallas and Washington Field Offices
The FBI’s Dallas and Washington Field Offices are the primary investigating agencies in this case. Their expertise in gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and analyzing intelligence is crucial for building a strong case against Anderson.
U.S. Capitol Police
The U.S. Capitol Police played a significant role in both responding to the breach and providing assistance in the investigation. Their knowledge of the Capitol building and their dedication to maintaining law and order are vital in holding individuals accountable for their actions.
Metropolitan Police Department
The Metropolitan Police Department also played a crucial role in responding to the breach and assisting in the investigation. Collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies are essential in ensuring an efficient and effective investigation.
Heading 5: Nationwide Arrests
The scope of the investigation into the Capitol breach extends beyond Anderson’s arrest. The number of individuals arrested in connection to the breach is substantial.
Number of Arrests
In the 31 months since the events of January 6, 2021, over 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. This widespread enforcement effort demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies in holding individuals accountable for their actions.
Charges Related to Assaulting or Impeding Law Enforcement
Of the arrested individuals, more than 350 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers. These charges reflect the severity of the crimes committed during the breach and the need to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel.
Heading 6: Tips and Presumption of Innocence
The investigation into the events of the Capitol breach is ongoing, and law enforcement agencies continue to seek information from the public.
Contact Information for Tips
Anyone with tips or information related to the Capitol breach can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov. The cooperation of the public is crucial in assisting law enforcement in identifying and apprehending individuals involved in unlawful activities.
Presumption of Innocence
It is important to note that a complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants, including Philip Anderson, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The legal process will determine the outcome of the charges brought against Anderson, and he will have the opportunity to present his case and defend himself.
In conclusion, Philip Anderson’s arrest on felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions during the Capitol breach underscores the commitment of law enforcement in holding individuals accountable for their unlawful activities. The investigation and prosecution of Anderson’s case involve multiple law enforcement agencies and offices working collaboratively. With over 1,106 individuals arrested nationwide for their involvement in the breach, law enforcement agencies continue to make significant strides in ensuring the safety and security of our democratic institutions.