‘I Was Part of History:’ Another Trump Supporter from NJ Arrested
A fifth New Jersey resident has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol earlier this month as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden's election victory.
Rasha Abual-Ragheb, a Fairfield resident who goes by Rasha Abu, was charged on Jan. 16 after someone who saw a picture of her inside the Capitol tipped off the FBI, officials said.
The FBI said they investigated her Facebook posts where she posted about being proud to be part of history even though she had been hit with pepper spray and tear gas.
She also posted a dozen pictures on her Facebook page of herself at the "stop the steal" rally and said she was staying at the Kimpton George Hotel near the Capitol building.
A Capitol police officer identified Abual-Ragheb as being on the first floor of the Senate chamber based on the architecture in the background of the photo.
The FBI's investigation of Abual-Ragheb's Facebook page determined her to be a member of New Jersey’s chapter of American Patriot 3%, which had chatted on Facebook about a "revolution" in November and a civil war to defend the Constitution, officials said.
During an interview with the FBI, Abual-Ragheb said she was a Trump supporter who was blocked from making pro-Trump postings on Facebook and Twitter. She said she was born in the country of Lebanon, fled to Jordan as a child because of civil war and has lived in the United State for the past 21 years.
NJ.com reported she was at a rally at Trump's Bedminster golf club the day after Election Day and attended a rally at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr when its owners opened in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy's emergency pandemic orders.
Patrick Stedman, a self-described dating and relationship strategist, was charged on Thursday with being at the riot. According to the affidavit, Stedman posted a Twitter video during the attack, saying he had made it into the Senate chamber.
Leonard Guthrie, of Cape May County, was charged with unlawful entry but said he did not enter the Capitol building even though images show him there.
Thomas Baranyi, of Ewing, who claimed in a TV interview that he was next to Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer, was charged with disorderly or disruptive conduct.
Army Reservist Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, a Colts Neck man who worked at Naval Weapons Station Earle, was also charged.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a native of South River, was killed during the siege but no one has been charged with his death.
During the melee, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Louis Capriotti, of Chicago Heights, Illinois, was ordered held without bond Thursday for allegedly threatening the lives of President Joe Biden and and former Gov. Chris Christie in a profanity filled voicemail message left at the office of a New Jersey congressman.