FBI arrests South Carolina couple on charges related to Jan. 6 Capitol riot

·4 min read

Two more alleged South Carolina rioters in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection have been arrested by the FBI, bringing the total number of people with S.C. ties arrested to seven.

John Getsinger Jr. and Stacie Hargis-Getsinger, of Hanahan, a city in Berkeley County just north of Charleston, were arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Charleston before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker in a initial proceeding where they were presented with the charges against them.

Baker released the couple, who are described as “the Getsingers” in charging documents, on a $75,000 unsecured bond each and their promise to appear for future court proceedings in the District of Columbia.

Trials for alleged rioters are taking place in the District. More than 460 people around the country have been arrested in connection with the riot so far, including some 130 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to federal officials.

Informants told the FBI about the Getsingers through a tips line the bureau set up after the riot.

According to a criminal complaint in the case, four people called an FBI tips line separately to report information they had about the couple making claims about being in the Capitol on Jan. 6.

One caller told the FBI that a video exists of “the Getsingers entering the Capitol Building saying, “This is War! We’re storming the Capitol!” according to the criminal complaint.

Another informant told the FBI that Stacie Getsinger had posted on her Facebook page, “The (presidential) election was rigged, and this ain’t over,” the complaint said.

Evidence concerning the Getsingers includes information the FBI got from Facebook after serving a search warrant on the social media site and cell phone information from Google that pinpointed John Getsinger’s cell phone as being inside the Capitol building at 2:44 p.m. on Jan. 6, after rioters entered the Capitol building.

Stacie Getsinger also expressed “concern” that they would go to jail for being in the Capitol building, according to the criminal complaint.

Charges against the Getsingers include entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct, demonstrating in a Capitol building and parading in a Capitol building, according to documents on file.

On Jan. 6, tens of thousands of people arrived in Washington to protest the presidential election and to listen to speeches making false claims by then-President Trump and others that the Nov. 3 election was rigged.

Those claims have been thrown out of some 60 courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr publicly stated that the FBI had investigated claims of election fraud and found nothing that would have changed the election’s outcome.

After Trump’s speech, several thousand protesters made their way to the Capitol building and around 2 pm, breached the defenses and entered the building.

At the time, the House and Senate were conducting a ceremonial but necessary certification of the Electoral College votes from each state. The rioters who entered the Capitol halted that process for some five hours as members of Congress, as well as then-Vice President Mike Pence, fled to secure areas.

Some 140 U.S. Capitol police were injured, some severely, during the riot, according to numerous news reports about the riot.

Tuesday’s arraignment of the Getsingers brings the total to seven people from South Carolina now known to have been arrested on federal criminal charges in connection with the riot. The FBI has “probable cause” to believe an eighth man participated in the riot, but no formal charges have been brought against that individual with respect to the Jan. 6 riot.

Other South Carolinians facing charges in the Capitol riot and against whom charges are pending are:

Elias Irizarry, 19, a freshman at the Citadel military college in Charleston.

Elliott Bishai, 20, a York County man planning to enter the U.S. Army in the next few months.

William Norwood III, of Greer, who is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstruction of justice and theft of government property.

Andrew Hatley, who is charged with “uttering threatening, or abusive language, or engag(ing) in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress.” He is also charged with engaging disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Nicholas Languerand, 26, of Little River, is charged with assaulting an officer using a deadly weapon, according to a review of charging documents.

In addition, James Giannakos, of Gilbert in Lexington County, is being investigated in connection with being at the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to an FBI search warrant. He has not been charged.

For weeks, Trump had been claiming without evidence that Biden and Democrats committed massive fraud that wrongly gave the election to Biden.

Some of those arrested are known to be associated with far-right groups like the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers, but no affiliation has been made public for many others arrested so far.

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