Marine Major Pleads Not Guilty to 9 Charges in DC Capitol Riot, Gets Released By Court



Marine Corps Maj. Christopher Warnagiris has pleaded not guilty to nine charges that stem from his actions in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 at his arraignment on Monday.

Federal prosecutors say that Warnagiris, 40, violently entered the Capitol after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. According to the criminal complaint, Warnagiris then stood by the door, holding it open and helping others enter the Capitol.

When U.S. Capitol Police tried to intervene, officials allege that the Marine officer struggled with them before giving up.

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Warnagiris was released pending his trial according to both court records and his attorney.

Marina Medvin, the lawyer who represents Warnagiris and several other Capitol riot defendants, would not comment on the case. She noted that DC federal court rules limit what attorneys can say about pending cases.

Warnagiris was arrested in Virginia on May 13, but he has continued to work with the Training and Education Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, according to a spokesman for the Marine Corps.

An artillery officer, Warnagiris is currently assigned to the Operations and Support Branch of the Policy and Standards Division, according to Maj. Jorge Hernandez, a Marine spokesman.

The Marine Corps, in a prior statement, has said that “[they are] clear on this: There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps.”

“Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values,” the statement added.

Warnagiris has served since 2002 and reached the rank of major in September 2013, according to his service records. He previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

His personal awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

— Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

Related: After Capitol Riot Indictment, Marine Major Remains at His Quantico Job

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