TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two brothers from Kansas and Idaho were arrested Friday on federal charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the FBI said.
William Pope, of Topeka, Kansas, and Michael Pope, of Sandpoint, Idaho, were arrested on federal charges of obstruction or impeding any official proceeding, causing civil disorder and other counts. An affidavit detailing the allegations against them was not immediately available.
William Pope, 35, ran unsuccessfully for the Topeka City Council in 2019. As of October 2020, he was listed as a Republican precinct committee member in Topeka by the county elections office.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that William Pope acknowledged to the newspaper that he was among the thousands of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol, and he was caught on video inside the building.
“I was at the Capitol to exercise my first amendment rights and remain loyal to the United States of America,” Pope said.
He said he was not violent during the riot and he reported himself to the FBI a few days later because “it was the right thing to do.”
William Pope was also an adjunct instructor at Fort Hays State University from January 2016 until May 2020. And he was listed as doctoral student in Kansas State University’s communication studies department as of Friday.
“Fort Hays State University joins so many others across this great nation in condemning the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol,” university spokesman Scott Cason said in a statement.
The school was not aware of any instance where William Pope’s political views were included in his teaching, Cason said.