A man who took part in the attack on the US Capitol and later joined the Army has been arrested for his actions on that day.
According to a Fort Bragg spokesman, Specialist James Mault was apprehended on the morning of Thursday, October 7 at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Mault joined the Army in May and was working as a combat engineer when he was apprehended. He had previously served in the Army as a Patriot operator before leaving active duty in 2016 as a sergeant. He served as a combat engineer in the New York Army National Guard from 2016 to March 2020. He is the sixth service member who was a member of the military at the time of his arrest, but he is the only one who was not enlisted at the time of his participation in the January 6 rioting. One of the remaining five was on active duty, while the other four were in the Reserve or Guard.
“The Army was unaware of any involvement Spc. Mault may have had in the January 6 incidents or of any information disqualifying him at the time of his enlistment,” Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Ramirez said.
Ramirez also stated that the Army focuses on identifying and screening out applicants with a history of extremist and criminal activity before they join the Army by conducting identification and criminal background checks, sex offender queries, local police and court document checks, and fingerprinting to the FBI.
“The Army will continue to collaborate with the FBI and other entities that have input into the pre-screening process to obtain relevant information to inform Army enlistment decisions,” Ramirez said.
However, the FBI was aware of Mault’s alleged involvement in the Capitol attack months earlier — on January 18, FBI special agents interviewed him. According to the charging documents, Mault admitted he went to the rally with five friends and told investigators he wore his work clothes “because he was aware of ANTIFA attacking Trump supporters after events in Washington.” He stated that he believed the hat would provide some protection. According to the FBI, there is no evidence that ANTIFA was involved in the January 6 attack.
Mault is facing multiple violent crime charges as a result of his alleged involvement in the January 6 riot.
According to prosecutors, he and co-defendant Cody Mattice assaulted officers after spraying them with chemicals. Mault denied assaulting anyone or causing property damage during the attack, according to investigators, but the video evidence gathered that day tells a different story.
According to investigators, Capitol security cameras and open-source videos from January 6 show Mault and Mattice being pushed to the front of the mob at the Capitol’s south side entrance, pointing canisters at law enforcement and spraying them with the contents.
According to charging documents, when confronted by investigators weeks after the riot, “Mault described himself as “caught up in the crowd, and the mass of people pushed him closer and closer to the Capitol Building,” adding that he “claimed to have no choice but to move forward due to the press of people behind him.” Mault ended up right next to the Capitol Building’s entrance, but he refused to enter.”