U.S. court documents state that Neumann stood at the front of a police barricade wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat as supporters of President Donald Trump tried to force past officers. “I’m willing to die, are you?” prosecutors quoted Neumann saying to a police officer.
An American who faces criminal charges from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is seeking asylum in Belarus, the country’s state TV reported, in a move that could further heighten tensions between the turbulent former Soviet nation and the United States, AP reports.
Evan Neumann of Mill Valley, California, acknowledged in an interview with the Belarus 1 channel that he was at the Capitol that day but rejected the charges, which include assaulting police, obstruction and other offenses. The channel aired excerpts of the interview on Sunday and Monday, and promised to release the full version on Wednesday.
“I don’t think I have committed some kind of a crime,” said Neumann, 48, according to a Belarus 1 voiceover of his interview remarks. “One of the charges was very offensive; it alleges that I hit a police officer. It doesn’t have any grounds to it.” Neumann spoke in English but was barely audible under the dubbed Russian.
Both Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin have used the Jan. 6 riot as a way to accuse the U.S. of a double standard in criticizing other countries, including Russia and Belarus, for cracking down on antigovernment protests
© Copyright LaPresse