Capitol Police Board says letter thanking indicted former officer was an error

“Please accept our congratulations on your retirement from the United States Capitol Police,” wrote Capitol Police and Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger on December 2, 2021.

“Your attention to duty, professionalism, and dedication are above reproach, each a tribute to your character. Your hard work will make a lasting impression in the department for many years to come.”

But on Thursday, after Riley referred to the letter in a court note, the US Capitol Police said it was sent “by mistake.” The department added that it had “certain language, pre-printed signatures,” and that the agency was looking to ensure that only officers who left the force in good standing would get it, according to a statement provided to CNN.

Riley was indicted in October for allegedly telling another man – Jacob Hills – to remove a Facebook post in which Hills claimed he had gone to the US Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riots, and then deleted Facebook’s communications with Hiles.
The case has become one of the clearest messages from the Justice Department in recent months that it will look into potential crimes even outside of those who have gone to the Capitol. Riley is the only police officer on duty on Capitol Hill on January 6 accused of trying to aid rioters.

In the midst of his indictment this week, Riley’s lawyers argued that federal prosecutors did not provide information relevant to his defense and that Riley was targeted because of his status as a Capitol police officer. His legal team noted that his case was opened because the US Attorney’s office – the prosecutors – asked the FBI – the investigators – to investigate the matter.

“Officer Riley, who has had a long and distinguished career with the United States Capitol Police, took part in heroic acts on January 6, 2021 in response to the attack on the United States Capitol,” the lawsuit reads.

The FBI also revealed to Officer Riley – while on surreptitious recording – that Officer Riley was the subject of an investigation simply because of his status as a police officer in the United States Capitol and because he was ‘a gardener,’ the memo said.

Riley’s lawyers also noted that his Facebook friend Hiles had posted on Facebook that January 6 was a “special memory” for the “Patriots” and that the media was the real problem, after telling the judge when sentencing that he regretted it.

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