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Top Federal Criminal Lawyer Michael Leonard in Chicago Tribune regarding January 6 Indictment of Illinois Citizen

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Firm News

Top Federal Criminal Lawyer Michael Leonard in Chicago Tribune regarding January 6 Indictment of Illinois Citizen. Here is the Chicago Tribune story on August 23, 2023:

West suburban man accused of shoving, trying to disarm police during Jan. 6 Capitol breach

A photo from a federal court filing by the U.S. attorney's office allegedly shows Robin Lee Reierson, a welder for Argonne National Laboratory, who is accused of participating in violence during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

A Schiller Park resident and longtime Argonne National Laboratory welder is accused of shoving Washington, D.C., police officers and trying to disarm one during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Robin Lee Reierson, 68, who was arrested shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, faces seven federal counts including civil disorder, assaulting, resisting or impeding a police officer, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct and acts of physical violence on Capitol grounds.

He faces up to five years in prison on the felony charge of assaulting a police officer.

The seven-count criminal complaint included still photos from Metropolitan police body-worn camera footage of a man wearing a black motorcycle helmet shoving against officers trying to maintain a security blockade outside the Capitol.

While rioters tried to push past a metal barricade manned by police on the Capitol’s lower west terrace, the helmeted man whom authorities identified as Reierson “used his back and body to push on the metal barrier,” according to the complaint.

Reierson, authorities said, also pushed officers using both hands and by lowering his shoulder into them and attempted to disarm an officer of his baton.

A week after the Capitol breach, the FBI received an online tip that an employee of Argonne was possibly involved in the attack. Authorities then compared the police images with Reierson’s driver’s license before a Schiller Park officer confirmed Reierson’s identity, according to the complaint.

A spokesperson at the federally funded lab said that Reierson was employed as a lead welder, adding that he was an employee for over 40 years. The spokesperson referred other questions to the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. Reierson’s attorney declined to comment on his client’s employment status.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt, Reierson sat with his back to the courtroom gallery before a hearing Wednesday at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago, facing the wall directly in front of him. When the case was called, he swiveled around but kept his right hand and forearm covering his face. He answered “Yes” when asked if he understood the charges filed against him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cummings ordered him released from custody pending his appearance in Washington to face the charges. Reierson is expected to participate in an initial appearance by Zoom on Aug. 31.

After Wednesday’s court appearance, Reierson’s attorney, Michael Leonard, called the evidence submitted by government attorneys “rather weak” and promised to vigorously defend his client.

Reierson is “a guy that at 68 has absolutely no criminal history and that’s why we believe these allegation are without merit,” Leonard said.

Reierson is the latest Illinois resident charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol and attacking police officers in an attempt to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. Those charged include a retired Illinois Army National Guard soldier, a Chicago police officer and his sister and a North Side man convicted in April of breaching the Capitol and stealing items from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.