The Drug Enforcement Agency suspended one of its agents who was allegedly outside the Capitol on the day that rioters laid siege to the building, his lawyer said.
Attorney Gretchen Gaspari’s client, DEA agent Mark Ibrahim, was put on leave “because of his presence on Jan. 6,” she said, adding that Ibrahim had his security clearance suspended because of the matter, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Gaspari’s law firm and contacted the DEA for comment about Ibrahim but did not immediately receive replies.
Ibrahim, who was off duty at the time, has not been charged with any crimes, and he reportedly insists that he never went inside the Capitol building during the incursion, which featured hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump storming the complex.
Gaspari’s client, who was carrying his service weapon while outside the Capitol building, was there because “it was a historic event,” she said.
“We’re walking a line between the First Amendment and insurrectionist behavior,” she added.
Ibrahim worked out of the Los Angeles area and had turned in his resignation prior to Jan. 6, although, according to Gaspari, withdrew it prior to its effective date.
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers that the bureau has arrested more than 270 people on federal charges stemming from the siege and more than 300 people total when factoring in state and local partners.
While the Jan. 6 riot occurred, Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old veteran, was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer as she allegedly tried breaching a door that led to the House chamber. Another, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died shortly after the events at the Capitol unfolded, but there are a number of questions that remain unanswered regarding his cause of death.
While initial media reports suggested that Sicknick’s death was the result of blunt force trauma, specifically being hit in the head by a fire extinguisher, the FBI reportedly suspects some type of chemical irritant like bear spray was involved.
Wray repeatedly declined to provide further details about Sicknick’s death when pressed about the matter during the Senate hearing.
“There is an ongoing investigation into his death. I have to be careful at this stage, because it’s ongoing, not to get out in front of it,” Wray said. “But I certainly understand and respect and appreciate the keen interest in what happened to him. After all, he was here protecting all of you, and as soon as there is information that we can appropriately share, we want to be able to do that.”
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