The former top editor of an Orthodox Jewish newspaper in New York City was arrested Thursday on charges that he interfered with police officers who were trying to protect the US Capitol during the January 6 riots.
Elliot Resnick, 39, was editor in chief of the Jewish Press when he joined the crowd of Donald Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.
The affidavit said the video showed Resnick reaching out and holding the hand of a Capitol Police sergeant who was spraying a chemical irritant to prevent rioters from entering the building. Another officer tried to remove Resnick’s hand from Sgt.’s arm, the agent wrote.
The FBI arrested Resnick in New York City on charges of civil disorder and assault or interference with law enforcement. Court records did not immediately list an attorney for Resnick.
The Jewish Press, based in Brooklyn, bills itself as the largest independent weekly Jewish newspaper in America. A statement on its website said it was “known for its editorial prowess” and was “politically incorrect long before the phrase was coined.”
Politico reported in April 2021 that the video showed Resnick inside the Capitol on January 6. Resnick later wrote an article defending the Capitol riot without acknowledging his presence in the building that day, Politico’s report noted.
At the time, Jewish Press publisher Naomi Mauer told POLITICO that the paper believed Resnick “acted within the law.” A statement from the editorial board of The Jewish Press confirmed that Resnick was at the Capitol on January 6 and was “covering the rally and the terrible events of the rest of the day” for the newspaper.
The editorial board wrote, “The Jewish press does not see why Elliott’s personal views on former President Trump make him any different from dozens of other reporters covering events, including those inside the Capitol Building during the riots.”
Then-President Trump addressed a crowd of his supporters at the “Stop the Steel” rally on January 6. A mob that stormed the Capitol disrupted a joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.
Prior to the riot, Resnick posted social media messages echoing Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that Democrats stole the election from him, according to posts cited by the FBI affidavit.
Resnick was a reporter and editor at The Jewish Press since 2006. He left the newspaper in May 2021, before the FBI said it had opened an investigation into him.
Jewish press staff did not immediately respond to email and telephone messages seeking comment on Resnik’s arrest.
Nearly 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Many riot defendants have claimed that they were acting as reporters when they joined the crowd that entered the Capitol, but prosecutors and judges have routinely dismissed those claims.
For the past two years, the FBI has been spreading across the county to arrest Capital Riot suspects. The cases are often based on tips they received in the first months after the riot.
The FBI agent’s account of Resnick’s actions on January 6 portrayed him as an active participant in the riot.
The agent’s affidavit said the video showed Resnick repeatedly gesturing to others to come toward the Capitol after rioters broke through a line of police officers.
According to the FBI, Renick was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol through the East Rotunda door. The FBI said that after entering the building, Resnick joined others in trying to open a door that a police officer was trying to hold shut. Another officer who tried to restrain Renick was pinned to the ground by another rioter.
Resnick grabbed other rioters and dragged them into the Capitol after they failed to open the door, according to the affidavit. It said he spent about 50 minutes inside the Capitol before leaving.
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