Chicago police officer and sister vow to fight January 6th charges

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Chicago cop and sister vow to fight January 6th charges
Federal prosecutors say CPD officer Karol Chwiesiuk breached the Capitol on January 6, used racial insults, took pictures of himself inside a senator's office, and bragged about it on social media.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer and his sister are both accused of crashing the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The officer was charged first, and then separately, his sister was arrested months later. The I-Team has learned federal authorities in Washington now have charged both in the same case, and the siblings are vowing to take it to trial.

When the glass and fists started flying on January 6th, federal prosecutors say Chicago police officer Karol Chwiesiuk breached the building. They say he used racial insults, took pictures of himself inside a senator's office, and bragged about the breach on social media.

RELATED: Chicago police officer charged in January 6 attack on US Capitol

Chwiesiuk was arrested a few months later, and turned down a misdemeanor plea offer from prosecutors.

Federal agents said Chwiesiuk was with his sister Agnes. Months later, she was charged separately.

SEE MORE: Sister of Chicago police officer charged in Jan. 6 riot now faces similar charges

As with her brother, Agnes Chwiesiuk was presented with a government offer to plead guilty and get out from underneath the weight, and cost, of a criminal trial, and possibly avoid a more severe sentence. The I-Team has learned she rejected that plea agreement.

"We don't know what the government has offered by way of a plea agreement here. Maybe the government insisted on some period of incarceration, and that was unacceptable to the defense," said former Chicago federal prosecutor and ABC7 legal analyst, Gil Soffer.

RELATED: Federal prosecutors could merge Jan. 6 riot cases against CPD Karol Chwiesiuk and his sister Agnes

Soffer said most of the nearly 950 Capitol riot defendants have, or will, cut deals with prosecutors.

The I-Team also learned the Justice Department has now fulfilled a pledge to re-charge the brother and sister in a joint case. The five misdemeanors allege they participated in that day's mayhem.

READ MORE: CPD officer charged in Jan 6 attack looking at 'potential plea discussions,' court documents reveal

"There is no question they could still work out a deal," Soffer said. "Maybe one or two things is happening. The defense may be thinking, look, we're going to stand fast until we get a better offer from the government and then we'll plead, or maybe the defense is thinking these are only misdemeanor charges. We don't see any felony charges likely here, and so we'll fight. The worst that happens is we lose. We're still faced with a misdemeanor conviction, which just doesn't have the same consequences as a felony conviction."

Their attorney Nishay Sanan, said they plan to go to trial as scheduled. As of now, the trial date is May 1. If that happens, they will be in a very small group of people charged from that day who actually fight the charges.