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Aug. 15, 2022

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2 Clark County men face charges in insurrection

Residents of Battle Ground, Vancouver are accused of entering Capitol

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Two Clark County men are among the more than 700 people who have been arrested in connection with the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol a year ago. Their criminal cases are pending in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Jeffrey Grace, 62, of Battle Ground was arrested Feb. 4, accused of entering the Capitol building, where he walked to the Rotunda. Grace is seen in the background of a widely circulated photo of another man carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the Rotunda.

Vancouver’s Marc Anthony Bru, 42, an apparent member of the far-right Proud Boys, was arrested March 30, accused of pushing past law enforcement officers and entering the Senate gallery.

Both men remain out of custody.

According to court records, Grace was arraigned April 19 on a four-count criminal complaint. He entered not-guilty pleas to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

The FBI received a tip about Grace on Jan. 19. A confidential witness said they learned from a family member, who is acquainted with Grace, that Grace and his adult son flew to Washington, D.C., and were at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, according to a statement of facts.

Grace was interviewed two days later and confirmed his travel, saying he and his son went to sightsee and to attend a rally for President Donald Trump. Grace said he got separated from his son at the rally and started walking with a group toward the Capitol building, the document states.

He entered the building from the north side through an open door, he said. He then walked to the Rotunda, he said, and picked up items that other people had knocked over. Grace said he decided to leave after seeing people damaging property, according to the statement of facts.

Before leaving, Grace took a metal pipe from someone, he said, and placed it behind a wooden object in the Rotunda. He then followed some people and climbed out a broken window, court records say.

CCTV footage from the Rotunda shows a man federal prosecutors believe to be Grace placing something behind a statue and reattaching velvet ropes onto stanchions, according to the statement of facts.

However, in a motion filed in August, prosecutors say Grace’s son accompanied him inside the Rotunda and that they took “selfie-style” videos on Grace’s cellphone in which they’re heard chanting, “our house, our house.” Prosecutors also allege Grace is an active member of the Proud Boys, although he denied being a member.

Minutes from a Nov. 18 hearing state that discovery is ongoing in Grace’s case, and “the parties are engaged in communications about potentially resolving this matter.”

Court records show that Bru was arraigned Dec. 9 on a seven-count superseding indictment, during which time he entered not-guilty pleas to knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in the gallery of Congress; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building; civil disorder; and obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting.

According to a statement of facts, a tipster contacted the FBI National Threat Operations Center on Feb. 3 to report that Bru had traveled to the U.S. Capitol and had potentially participated in the riot. The tipster spoke with Bru before Jan. 6, and he said he was traveling to Washington, D.C., to “witness history in the making” and alluded to something big happening. After the riot, the tipster told investigators that a video on Facebook showed Bru at or near the Capitol building.

The document includes photos and video screenshots, from open-source websites, private citizens and CCTV footage, that federal prosecutors allege show Bru flashing the “OK” white power hand symbol while attending the pro-Trump rally, marching with a crowd to the Capitol and pushing through a line of officers outside the building.

Between 2:30 and 2:50 p.m., Bru is allegedly seen on video entering the Senate gallery and later leaving, according to the statement of facts.

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