Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts competitor, admitted to shoving and punching a D.C. police officer, identified in plea papers by the initials Z.B.
“Are you an American? Act like it!” Fairlamb screamed before the attack in a scene captured on video.
Fairlamb entered the Capitol through a kicked-down Senate wing door about two minutes after an adjacent window was first broken by rioters about 2:13 p.m., he acknowledged in plea papers.
He admitted to posting videos on social media showing himself screaming expletives about storming the Capitol while standing on scaffolding on the west side of the building and waving a collapsible metal police baton.
Fairlamb pleaded guilty to two of 12 indicted counts, both felonies: assaulting an officer and obstructing an official proceeding of Congress. The first charge is punishable by up to eight years and the obstruction charge by 20 years.
Prosecutors agreed to drop the other counts, which included rioting, trespassing and violent disorder.
Fairlamb’s recommended sentencing range is 41 to 51 months in prison, but is not binding on U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who set sentencing for Sept. 27.
Fairlamb has been held pending trial since his Jan. 22 arrest. In a detention order for Fairlamb, Lamberth wrote, “Even among other rioters, the defendant’s aggression stood out.”
Fairlamb has prior convictions for illegal possession of a handgun and simple and aggravated assault, according to plea papers.
Thompson admitted to using a baton to strike at an officer deploying pepper spray during what prosecutors called the most violent confrontation between police and rioters at the Capitol, inside the archway and tunnel of the West Terrace’s ceremonial entrance.
Calling Thompson’s “an important case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tejpal Chawla said the defendant was “at the front lines of the most dangerous violence at the Capitol,” striking an officer with a baton and aware that others were assaulting officers with weapons including bear spray, Tasers, javelins, clubs, bats and the officers’ own shields.
Thompson admitted to being present in the tunnel for 13 minutes, and left seven minutes before Capitol Police Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed in a contested doorway, Chawla said.
Chawla praised Thompson for turning himself in through a lawyer in January. He also cooperated in three interview sessions with the FBI and U.S. prosecutors between Feb. 2 and April 1, and apologized to a D.C. police sergeant identified by the initials “W.B.,” his lawyers said in court filings.
But the prosecutor argued successfully for Thompson’s immediate detention pending sentencing, also scheduled for Sept. 27.
Defense attorney Thomas Durkin argued that Thompson had lost his job, his family was poor and he had allergies to vaccination that put him at elevated risk of infection if detained immediately during the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that his client never planned to engage in violence and was readily identified after wearing a Seattle Seahawks aviator hat and W-emblazoned University of Washington jacket on Capitol grounds.
Prosecutors on July 11 charged Thompson with the single count to which he pleaded guilty, assaulting police with a dangerous weapon, punishable by up to 20 years. Thompson has no criminal record other than a minor juvenile matter, according to his lawyer. He faces an advisory range of 46 to 57 months in prison.
At least 50 of the 165 defendants charged with assaulting or interfering with police are accused of doing so with a dangerous weapon.