Prosecutors seized a “fully constructed” Lego set of the U.S. Capitol from a man they have charged with leading part of the failed insurrection against U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. on January 7, as first reported by Smoking Gun.
The defendant, 27-year-old Robert Morss, is accused of joining the seditious, far-right mob that assaulted the Capitol building in a failed attempt to prevent legislators from certifying Joe Biden as the victor in the 2020 presidential race, somehow figuring this would allow Donald Trump to snatch a second term from the jaws of defeat.
Court records show that FBI investigators seized the Lego version of the Capitol from Morss alongside clothes and equipment matching his outfit on June 6 (a “‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag, a neck gaiter, a military utility bag, a black tourniquet, and military fatigues”) as well as a handgun, shotgun, and rifle.
The FBI also confiscated a notebook with writing titled “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia,” complete with sections on battle drills, ambushes, formations, and notes on who should bring body armour, assault rifles, and magazines.
Prosecutors allege Morss, a former Army Ranger and Penn State graduate who was a substitute teacher at the Pittsburgh-area Shaler Area School District, directed other rioters amid “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” that took place in the chaos.
Morss has been held in pre-trial detainment since his arrest on June 11, and prosecutors are working to keep it that way, according to Smoking Gun. Federal charges against him include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States. If convicted, Morss could face a maximum sentence of decades in prison.
The Department of Justice says it has charged over 535 people in connection with the Capitol assault, according to CBS News, including 55 with prior military service (including an active-duty Marine Corps major). Of those 535, at least 165 have involved charges of assaulting, resisting, or interfering with police or employees, over 50 of whom are accused of using deadly or dangerous weapons or causing serious bodily injury to a police officer.
Around 40 defendants, including members of the far-right Oath Keepers and Three Percenters militias and the street-brawling neo-fascist Proud Boys organisation, are facing conspiracy charges. CBS reported FBI Director Christopher Wray has said there are hundreds more ongoing investigations with more charges in store.