North Shore Kulas brothers plead guilty to misdemeanors in Jan. 6 US Capitol attack

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
North Shore brothers plead guilty in January 6 investigation
Two Illinois residents plead guilty to misdemeanor counts of parading, demonstrating or picketing during the Capitol riot.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A pair of North Shore brothers became the latest Illinoisans to plead guilty on charges from the January sixth U.S. Capitol attack.

Video of 24-year-old Christian Kulas shows him laughing it up at the capitol complex on January 6. On Monday he pleaded guilty to cheering on rioters who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol that day.

In a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that tosses out other charges, Christian Kulas and his 27-year-old brother Mark Jr. pled to a charge of taking part in the insurrection. Even though they are misdemeanors, each carries a potential six month prison sentence.

Former federal prosecutor and ABC7 legal analyst Gil Soffer said there appears to be no motivation for the federal government to back down.

"What the government wants to make clear, though, is that that won't be tolerated, and that they're prosecuting people, even with the six month maximum misdemeanors, and they're not going to rest until they can catch everybody they can," he said.

For several months, as Christian Kulas' capitol pictures and video were still up on the internet, there were public questions posted about why he hadn't been arrested.

After the FBI tracked Kulas through social media posts that placed him inside the U.S. Capitol as rioting was underway, they did arrest him at his family's Kenilworth home in early June.

His older brother was charged in November, but both pleaded guilty Monday in a virtual hearing in Washington, D.C. District Court.

In addition to numerous public tips, authorities said they matched Christian Kulas to various scenes inside the capitol through a distinctive Burberry coat lining.

The Kulas brothers and their attorney declined to comment. Sentencing is set for March 7.

Since early January, federal authorities have brought charges against more than 700 people in what has been billed as the nation's largest-ever criminal investigation.

More than 150 have pleaded guilty, including several of 16 Illinois residents charged, with more plea deals coming before the end of the year.