Report: Doug Jensen, the Des Moines man charged in U.S. Capitol riot, is in plea talks with prosecutors
A Des Moines man charged with breaking into the U.S. Capitol and chasing a police officer during the Jan. 6 riots is in talks with prosecutors to plead guilty to at least some charges, according to Buzzfeed News.
The outlet tweeted on Thursday that the discussions were revealed during a status conference hearing for Douglas Austin Jensen in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, declined a Des Moines Register request for comment, and a U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson did not immediately return calls or respond to emails seeking comment.
The report came as a federal judge signaled Thursday that plea agreements were forthcoming for some of the hundreds accused in the government’s far-reaching investigation into the riots.
In a hearing involving three Missouri defendants charged with illegal entry and disorderly conduct, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said she expected “plea offers would be extended in the near future” as part of the larger inquiry.
Prosecutors acknowledged last week that they were pursuing a broad conspiracy involving "a large number of participants." This week, the government asserted that a leader of the paramilitary group known as the Oath Keepers coordinated with members of at least two other extremist sects — the Proud Boys and Three Percenters — before the Capitol attack.
Jensen was among the crowd that marched from a rally with then-President Donald Trump to the Capitol and forced its way in. According to prosecutors, Jensen entered the building through a broken window. He also was identified as the man seen in a reporter's video, pursuing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up a stairway near the U.S. Senate chamber and threatening to steal his baton.
He later told Des Moines police and the FBI that he believed Trump was going to arrest Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the “corrupt government,” court filings show.
Jensen faces seven criminal charges, including entering a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.
Jensen has remained behind bars. During a Feb. 23 hearing, his attorney told U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly that he was not going to argue for his client’s release, though he reserved the right to do so later, according to numerous reports.
Three other Iowans face charges in connection with the Capitol riots: Deborah Sandoval, 54, of Des Moines and her son, Salvador Sandoval, 23, of Ankeny, and Leo Christopher Kelly of Cedar Rapids.
Kevin Johnson of USA Today contributed to this article.
Tyler Jett covers jobs and the economy for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-284-8215, or on Twitter at @LetsJett.