Police have discovered that one of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday carried thousands of rounds of ammunition and told acquaintances there he wanted to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Police are still amassing evidence after President Donald Trump's supporters attacked the Capitol building this week. According to a report by CNN, prosecutors are now interested in the heavily armed man — Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. — and his intentions towards elected leaders.
Meredith Jr. has been charged with writing threats against Pelosi and possessing an unregistered firearm and ammunition. Court documents say that he came to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday — the day before Trump's rally, the ensuing riot, and the U.S. Congress' counting of the Electoral College votes. He reportedly texted friends and acquaintances that he wanted to shoot Pelosi or run her over with a car. Meredith Jr. was in court on Friday for initial proceedings and is being held until at least next week when his next hearing is scheduled.
Meredith Jr.'s text messages reportedly state that he was thinking of "putting a bullet in [Pelosi's] noggin on Live TV." He also wrote that he was carrying with him "a s— ton of... armor-piercing ammo." In later text messages, Meredith Jr. used misogynistic slurs to refer to the Speaker as he discussed running her over, adding smiling devil emojis for effect.
Federal prosecutors have been picky about which details to reveal to the public as investigations of the attack on the Capitol rage on. Even so, what they have announced is shocking and, in some cases, terrifying. Including Meredith, 13 alleged rioters are now facing federal charges, including another man who packed a pickup truck blocks away from the Capitol containing homemade bombs and unregistered weapons.
That man is Lonnie Leroy Coffman, who stocked his truck with homemade napalm, rags and lighters — discovered by bomb-sniffing dogs only after the riot took place. Coffman's truck sat there for hours, with a handgun on the passenger seat and an assault rifle inside as well. Like Meredith Jr., he will be detained until at least next week.
While these arrests show progress, many pundits are still baffled about how hundreds of Trump supporters managed to break their way into the Capitol, trample through the place and escape without being arrested. Many are calling on closer investigations of the Capitol police themselves, who may be held accountable for this belated manhunt.