Indictment Shows 4-Month Delay In Prosecuting Wyoming Jan. 6 Suspect

More than two years after he allegedly participated in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, Bedford resident Douglas Harrington faces a laundry list of federal charges that could land him in jail for up to 75 years.

LW
Leo Wolfson

September 06, 20234 min read

A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole.
A photo taken from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video shows a man, identified by the FBI as Douglas Harrington of Wyoming, assaulting an officer with a flagpole. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

It took around two and half years for federal prosecutors to bring charges against Bedford resident Douglas Harrington, 68, for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A federal indictment filed against Harrington in court last week shows it also took nearly four months after a grand jury found probable cause in Harrington’s case to bring eight charges against him for his arrest.

Court documents show that on Aug. 8, Harrington was arrested by the FBI in California on a variety of charges stemming from an allegation he assaulted U.S. Capitol police with a flagpole. The person eventually identified in multiple photos and videos as Harrington wearing a cowboy hat, goggles, gas mask and a backpack also brandished a flagpole with a metal ball on the end, which was used to strike law enforcement officers on the Capitol grounds that day.

When Harrington was originally arrested, he was charged with six felonies carrying up to 75 years in prison. There are two additional charges listed on his grand jury order that was sworn in March 16 and filed with the court Aug. 30. 

These are two misdemeanor counts related to committing disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and engaging in physical violence on Capitol grounds, carrying a combined one year and fines as punishment.

Harrington was released from custody Aug. 15 on a personal recognizance bond.

A compilation of photos the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
A compilation of photos the FBI says show Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

What Led To Delays?

One likely contributing factor to the delay in prosecuting Harrington was the time it took to identify and track him down. Court documents show that any investigation into Harrington had to have started after October 2021 and was ongoing at least as recently as June 2022. 

An FBI special agent interviewed a confidential witness who had a relationship with Harrington, according to Harrington’s arrest warrant. During the interview, the witness identified Harrington in three of the Jan. 6 photos. 

Court documents say the FBI also discovered a significant amount of information on Harrington’s social media accounts and phone records connecting him to the Jan. 6 event.

Former Cody resident Andrew Galloway was charged in January 2022 for his participation in the riot, about one year after the event. In October 2022, Galloway received 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution for climbing through a broken window at the U.S. Capitol and remaining in the building for about 11 minutes. 

There are many people still being held in federal custody awaiting sentencing for their participation in Jan. 6.

An image from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video that allegedly shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington brandishing a flagpole at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
An image from U.S. Capitol Police body cam video that allegedly shows Wyoming resident Douglas Harrington brandishing a flagpole at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (From FBI Special Agent William Whitfield's Affidavit)

Proud Boys Connection

On Tuesday, Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the far-right militia group Proud Boys, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the role he played in Jan. 6.

It’s unclear if Harrington is a member of the Proud Boys, but court documents show that he associates with the group on some level. 

Prior to Jan. 6, 2021, Harrington sent a message to an associate saying that he “helped the Proud Boys kick ass” at a “Million MAGA March” to protest the results of the 2020 election in December 2020.

The same day he sent that message, Harrington tried to encourage an associate to join the Proud Boys. The associate declined, citing familial and religious concerns.

Terms Of Probation

Harrington must report to the District of Wyoming federal court as part of his bond conditions, which signals that he is still a Wyoming resident.

He’s also ordered to stay away from Washington, D.C., except for attending court hearings and meeting with his attorney. Harrington’s case is being heard before Trump-nominated U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui of the District of Columbia.

Harrington must receive court approval before traveling outside the U.S. and is required to notify the District of Wyoming before leaving the state. 

He also is forbidden from possessing a firearm, destructive device or other weapon while out on bond.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter