Hillsboro man charged in US Capitol attack
A 62 year-old Hillsboro man who once served on a local Oregon Republican committee was arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On Sunday, the FBI arrested Reed Knox Christensen. He’s charged with six counts, including engaging in an act of physical violence in the Capitol building, civil disorder, and entering or remaining on restricted grounds without lawful authority.
Christensen, a registered Republican, served in a leadership position with the Washington County Republican Central Committee. According to internet archives of the county GOP’s website, Christensen served as the group’s “secretary/house captain lead” as recently as Jan. 17. His photo has since been removed.
Documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office also list Christensen’s association with the committee and list his occupation as a design engineer for Intel. A company spokesperson declined to comment.
In a statement Tuesday in response to questions from OPB, Washington County GOP Chair Alexander Flores said the committee rejects political violence from any party or person.
“Washington County Republicans condemn the actions of those that took place on January 6th,” Flores wrote. “If these allegations are correct, we expect justice to be done and thank law enforcement for their vigilant service to our county. [Christensen] was immediately removed following the incident.”
Flores said Christensen was removed from the party board after his arrest arrest.
Christensen, the fourth Oregonian to be charged in connection with the failed insurrection, made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday and was released.
On Jan. 6, a pro-Trump mob broke through police lines to enter the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying the 2020 election results for President Joe Biden.
On Jan. 5, Christensen flew from Portland International Airport to Reagan National, just outside Washington D.C., according to court records submitted by the FBI. On Jan. 7, Christensen returned to Portland via Reagan National. The court records state “a query of law enforcement databases” were used to confirm Christensen’s travel.
During the Jan. 6 attack, Christensen was on the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol, the FBI stated in court documents.
Video footage from the scene allegedly shows Christensen trying to move a metal bike rack that police were using as a barrier.
Federal prosecutors said Christensen pushed and hit police officers. He also tried to breach the metal barrier when a Metropolitan Police Officer sprayed him with “a chemical irritant.” After, prosecutors wrote in charging documents, Christensen struck a U.S. Capitol Police officer with his fists.
A person who “has known Christensen for several years and has had multiple opportunities to observe Christensen’s physical appearance prior to” the attack on the U.S. Capitol, recognized Christensen in a video that aired on an unnamed national news network, court documents state.
The person was “also aware that Christensen often wore a grey winter parka, yellow leather gloves, and a red Make America Great Again hat, all of which were consistent in appearance with the clothing worn” by the person law enforcement were still trying to identify. The person knew that Christensen had traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Jan. 6 rally but didn’t know if he “breached the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol and/or assaulted law enforcement officers,” court documents state.
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