DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) placed an agent on leave after he was seen outside the Capitol during a riot by supporters of former on Jan. 6.

DEA agent Mark Ibrahim told Reuters in a phone interview that he “never entered the building” when the mob breached the Capitol, and didn’t comment further.

Gretchen Gaspari, a lawyer for Ibrahim, told the news outlet that DEA officials told her client that he was being placed on leave and were suspending his security clearance “because of his presence on Jan. 6.”

Gaspari said that Ibrahim was part of the crowd outside the Capitol while the crowd went inside. He was off duty, but carried his service weapon.

DEA officials learned that Ibrahim was outside the Capitol after he sent photographs to a group chat of fellow agents, Reuters reported. The agency took his weapons and credentials while it decided how to proceed.

Ibrahim has not been charged with a crime, Reuters noted.

In a statement to The Hill, a DEA official said the agency “cannot comment on specific personnel matters.” 

“If we receive information indicating an employee engaged in misconduct, DEA’s policy is to promptly refer the case to the appropriate authorities for review,” the official said.

The Department of Justice said last Friday that more than 300 people have been charged in connection to the riot that led to five deaths, and over 280 have been arrested.

Some of the people that have been charged have connections to law enforcement and the military.

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