Washington, DC – A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent accused of being outside the U.S. Capitol building at the time of the Jan. 6 riot has been suspended from his job.
DEA Agent Mark Ibrahim said he “never entered the building” on the day of the uprising, according to Reuters.
The DEA told the agent he was being stripped of his security clearance and placed on administrative leave “because of his presence” outside the Capitol building on Jan. 6, according to one of his attorneys, Gretchen Gaspari.
Agent Ibrahim, who was off-duty and armed with his service weapon on the day of the riot, openly admitted he was outside the Capitol, but denied taking part in the violence or having ever crossed the metal barricade barrier that other members of the crowd pushed past, according to Reuters.
He was there because “it was a historic event,” Gaspari said. “We’re walking a line between the First Amendment and insurrectionist behavior.”
ALERT: US Justice Dept tells judge NO PLEA OFFERS have been made in any Jan. 6 US Capitol Insurrection cases pic.twitter.com/HvgqP3cuAt
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) March 4, 2021
His employer learned of his presence at the U.S. Capitol after he sent photos of his location to a group of his fellow DEA agents.
Agent Ibrahim, who works in a DEA office in the Los Angeles suburbs, has not been charged with any crimes in connection with the riot, a DEA spokesperson told Reuters.
The #NationalGuard continues to patrol at the #USCapitol on #March4th in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives canceled votes today and extra security was added after talk surfaced online of possible violent protests. 📸: @Sarah_Silbiger pic.twitter.com/1mAnYRDVUA
— Getty Images News (@GettyImagesNews) March 4, 2021
The spokesperson refused to discuss the details of Agent Ibrahim’s suspension, noting the agency “cannot comment on specific personnel matters,” according to the Washington Examiner.
“If we receive information indicating an employee engaged in misconduct, DEA’s policy is to promptly refer the case to the appropriate authorities for review,” the DEA said in a statement.