GOP Strategist Charged for Involvement in J6 Riot

(VitalNews.org) – A Republican strategist from Florida was arrested last week for allegedly participating in the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol.

According to a complaint made public on Monday, Dec. 18, 23-year-old Barbara Balmaseda from Miami Jakes, Florida, was arrested on Thursday, Dec. 14, at her residence on misdemeanor and felony charges. The charges are related to Balmaseda’s alleged “conduct” on Jan. 6 while rioters breached the Capitol building during the certification by Congress of the 2020 presidential election results.

In an online statement, federal prosecutors said that Balmaseda’s “actions and the actions of others” on Jan. 6 “disrupted a joint session” convened by Congress “to ascertain and count” the 2020 presidential electoral votes.

Since the riots nearly three years ago, federal prosecutors have charged over 1,230 people for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot that broke away from a giant protest consisting of thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump. The US Department of Justice continues to investigate cases related to Jan. 6 and more arrests may come in the future.

The protest, dubbed “Stop the Steal,” was intended to demand the government investigate the 2020 election, which Trump and many others believe was stolen. Trump now faces several indictments, some of which are related to charges alleging that the former president egged on the protesters to try and overturn the election results certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.

Balmaseda is accused of entering the Capitol alongside the right-wing group Proud Boys and now faces felony charges for obstructing an official government proceeding. She also faces several misdemeanor charges for entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, for disorderly conduct, and more. She’s worked for several GOP politicians in Florida, such as Sen. Marco Rubio as an intern in 2018 and 2019. Balmaseda also worked on the 2018 gubernatorial campaign for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to Aubrey Webb, Balmaseda’s defense attorney, she will enter a not-guilty plea during her upcoming arraignment.

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