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Robert Morss: Ex-Army Ranger trained militarily to help rioters on Capitol Hill, judge says


It came hours after the Justice Department released new videos of Morss, which the judge said show how he assumed an impromptu leadership role in the attack, coordinating with other rioters and by inciting clashes with the police.

“He is ready to use his training or his experience to organize himself with the rioters on January 6 … thus making their actions more effective, more forceful and more violent,” said trial judge Michael Harvey. Harvey went on to say the rioters “seemed disorganized” until Morss, who was “in his element” as a former Army Ranger, began giving instructions.

According to Pentagon records, Morss served in the military from 2011 to 2015 and deployed three times to Afghanistan. He was a specialist when he retired from military service.

He pleaded not guilty to all counts.

After Morss was arrested, Harvey also noted, police found a notebook in his car with a page titled “Step by Step to Create a Hometown Militia.” The plan included a list of supplies, including an assault rifle, and steps such as “combat drills” and “ambushes.” Research also uncovered an unbuilt Lego set of the Capitol building and six guns. Investigators could not find the assault rifle mentioned in Morss’s log.

“Although January 6 has passed, the fight for Mr. Morss continues,” Harvey said.

The Justice Department also released several videos of the Morss case on Tuesday after CNN and other news outlets sued for access. The footage highlights the judge’s comments about Morss’ collaboration with other rioters and instigating violent clashes with police officers.

Robert Morss: Ex-Army Ranger trained militarily to help rioters on Capitol Hill, judge says

Federal prosecutors identified Morss in the videos with boxes and arrows overlaid.

A police body cam clip shows Morss speaking to other rioters shortly before grabbing a fence and pulling him away from the police line. Another clip shows him handing over stolen police shields to other rioters. Another clip shows him entering the Capitol through a broken window.

About one in ten rioters accused in the Capitol uprising has ties to the US military.

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