The former editor of an Orthodox Jewish newspaper in New York City — identified two years ago as a member of the Jan. 6 mob by POLITICO — was charged Thursday with two felonies for his actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Elliot Resnick, who had drawn controversy prior to Jan. 6 for incendiary and bigoted comments — labeling African religions as “primitive” and suggesting white supremacy is fictional — grabbed a Capitol Police officer’s arm while he was attempting to defend the doors leading to the rotunda, according to charging documents. After those doors were breached, Resnick remained by the entrance and helped pull other rioters into the building at one of the earliest moments of the breach, according to the documents.
Resnick faces charges of civil disorder and impeding police officers, as well as misdemeanor counts for entering and remaining in a restricted building, as well as disorderly or disruptive conduct in a Capitol building.
In a statement of facts accompanying the case, the FBI special agent who investigated Resnick indicated that an April 8 POLITICO story played a role in the FBI’s identification of Resnick, when a tipster brought it to the bureau’s attention.
At the time, the Jewish Press’ editorial board defended Resnick’s presence at the Capitol, contending that he was there in a professional capacity to cover the events of the day.
“The Jewish Press does not see why Elliot’s personal views on former President Trump should make him any different from the dozens of other journalists covering the events, including many inside the Capitol building during the riots, nor why his presence justifies an article in Politico while the presence of other reporters inside the building does not,” the board wrote.
But videos and images from that day portrayed Resnick as an active participant in the unrest, pushing his way to the doors of the Capitol, waving rioters on and bursting through the rotunda doors despite resistance from police. Prosecutors included images suggesting Resnick aided other rioters’ entry into the building.
In addition, Resnick never printed any articles or accounts of Jan. 6, despite his active presence on social media and perch at the Jewish Press. In the same statement, the board described this as an institutional decision: “The Jewish Press decided not to print any article — by Elliot or anyone else — in our print edition because of the heated atmosphere surrounding the day’s events, especially within New York’s Orthodox Jewish community.”
In the charging documents, the agent on the case noted that she was “aware of and has complied with the U.S. Department of Justice’s News Media Policy,” which prescribes guidance and limits on the way prosecutors investigate and charge members of the press.
Resnick, according to the charging documents, was inside the Capitol for about 50 minutes, based on a review of CCTV footage and other video captured by media and members of the mob.