In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump, including Aaron Mostofsky, right, who is identified in his arrest warrant, walk down the stairs outside the Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington. Federal agents arrested Mostofsky, the son of a New York judge, on charges that he was among the protestors who stormed the U.S. Capitol, the FBI said on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Manuel Balce Ceneta | AP
The son of a New York City judge was arrested Tuesday on federal charges connected to his role in a riot by supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The man, Aaron Mostofsky, was clad in furs when he invaded the Capitol with thousands of other rioters, and stole a riot shield and bulletproof vest belonging to Capitol Police during the incident, according to a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York.
Mostofsky, 34, told the New York Post in an interview last week that he was motivated to storm the halls of Congress with others because of his belief that Trump was swindled out of a presidential electoral victory by ballot fraud.
A video interview of Mostofsky shows him carrying the riot shield and wearing the police vest. The items, which he also was seen in possession of in photos on his Instagram account, are valued at more than $2,100, according to the complaint.
Mostofsky, who was busted in New York at his brother’s house, is the son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, a prominent member of the Orthodox Jewish community who was elected to the bench last year on the Democratic ballot line.
Supreme courts, despite their names, are trial level courts in New York state.
Trump has been accused by Democrats and others of inciting the riot, which occurred after a rally where he and his allies asked supporters to fight with him to overturn Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
At least five people, including a Capitol police officer killed by rioters, and a mob participant who was fatally shot by police, died in the violence.
Trump faces likely impeachment this week because of the riot, and dozens of people have been arrested on various charges connected to the incident.
“I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump — I think it was close to 85 million,” Aaron Mostofsky told the Post last week.
“I think certain states that have been red for a long time turned blue and were stolen, like New York.”
Aaron Mostofsky, son of Kings County Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, appears before Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara during his initial appearance in connection with the occupation of the U.S. Capitol, at the Eastern District of New York, January 12, 2021.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
He and the other rioters disrupted for hours the confirmation of Biden’s election by a joint session of Congress.
The FBI has received 100,000 digital media tips, including still images and videos, related to the riot, an official source told NBC News on Tuesday. That does not include phone tips.
The criminal complaint against Mostofsky reveals that a person sent him an Instagram message with a photo of him in the Capitol complex, saying “Your famous.”
“IK [I know] unfortunately,” Mostofsky replied, according to the complaint.
“Cause now people actually know me.”
He has been charged with theft of government property, entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds with intent to impede government business, and unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.
Mostofsky faces a maximum possible sentence of of 10 years in prison if convicted of the top charge, theft of government property.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara later Tuesday set a $100,000 release bond for Mostofsky during his presentment in Brooklyn federal court, which was conducted telephonically due to Covid-19 precautions. The bond was to be secured by real estate.
The judge, who called the charges “quite grave” and said “the evidence is quite significant,” ordered him upon his release to reside with his brother, Nachman Mostofsky, remain within the confines of New York City, surrender his passport and stay away from political events and every states’ capitols.
The last condition reflects concerns of about expected protests by Trump supporters in state capitols around Biden’s inaguration.
Mostofsky also will have to wear an electronic monitoring device, and undergo mental health and drug testing, and receive any treatment deemed necessary for that.
He also agreed not to speak with any other alleged conspirators involved in the riot.
His lawyer, Jeff Schwartz, told the judge, “I believe evidence will show that he was not part of the mob, he was not rampaging, he got caught up in it.”
“He will stay far away from Washington, any political rallies, he will have nothing to do with any of that stuff,” Schwartz said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz told the judge, “It is important that Mr. Mostofsky not engage in the behavior that he engaged in last week.”
Nachman Mostofsky, who is vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative Club, told the online publication Gothamist last week, “My brother did nothing illegal.”
“”He definitely was not part of the riot,” Nachman said, and then claimed that his brother was “pushed inside” the Capitol building.
“You’re full of s–. You’re a dishonest person. My brother went as a citizen of America,” Nachman railed at Gothamist.
“You find me one [Black Lives Matter] riot or one Antifa riot from over the summer that didn’t have way more damage.”
Mostofsky’s arrest came a day after it was revealed that several Capitol police officers have been suspended, with at least 10 more under investigation for their actions during the riot.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who chairs a committee that oversees the Capitol Police, said one of the suspended officers is believed to have taken a selfie photo with rioters, while another officer was suspended after being spotted wearing a hat emblazoned with Trump’s motto, “Make American Great Again.”
“The main point is the Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated at a big level or a small level,” he said.
The Secret Service, whose responsibilities include protecting the president and their family, said Monday that it is investigating an officer with that agency who had accused members of Congress who confirmed Biden’s election of treason.