NEW YORK - The FBI raided on Tuesday the Brooklyn home of the Orthodox Jewish son of a New York judge over his participation in the storming of the Capitol last week by supporters of Donald Trump, who is on the brink of impeachment for “incitement to insurrection” by encouraging the mob.
Aaron Mostofsky, whose father is a New York judge and former president of the National Council of Young Israel, was documented inside the Capitol wearing fur and a bulletproof vest during the chaos last week. He was photographed several times standing next to Jake Angeli, a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
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Mostofsky, 34, was picked up at his brother’s home in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning. At a teleconference hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, Mostofsky’s lawyer argued that the evidence didn’t back up the accusations. Mostofsky was released on $100,000 bond but banned from traveling to Washington except for purposes of prosecution of his case there.
The charges include a felony count of theft of government property — a bulletproof police vest worth $1,905 and a riot shield valued at $265.
Mostofsky was one of many Orthodox Jews who came to the Capitol for the January 6th rally featuring Trump that preceded the assault on the Capitol. His brother, Nachman Mostofsky, who serves as executive director of Chovevei Zion, an organization advocating for Jewish values from a Conservative perspective on Capitol Hill, was also at the demonstration.
“I think it’s going to be a crazy showing of patriotism,” Nachman told Haaretz two days before the event, adding he hoped the rally opposing the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory would “give Republicans who are maybe on the fence a little bit of ammunition to maybe push for a calling of the votes.”
He also said he rejects the idea that Trump’s allegation of voter fraud in the election he lost is a conspiracy theory. “Conspiracy theory is when you see what’s obvious and you start connecting the dots that are not obvious,” he said. “I’m not an anti-vaxxer. Someone who believes in conspiracy theories believes in a lot of them.”
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After the riots at the Capitol took place, but before his brother was publicly identified as a participant in the violence, Nachman Mostofsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “no conservative will condone what happened today, the actual storming of the Capitol … it was unpatriotic.
“But we heard for months during the summer when people don’t feel heard, this is what happens,” he added.
The Associated Press conributed to this article.