Two Kansas women arrested in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Kansas women arrested in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol told the FBI they expected to participate in a peaceful protest supporting former President Donald Trump that day.

Court records show that Jennifer Ruth Parks and Esther Schwemmer were both arrested Friday. An affidavit filed in Parks’ case describes how the two women entered the U.S. Capitol after protesters broke into the building and remained inside for 30 minutes to an hour.

Parks is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, but the charges against Schwemmer had not been released as of Sunday.

“Parks believed she was attending a peaceful rally in support of President Donald Trump,” an FBI agent wrote.

The two friends who travelled to Washington together are among at least seven people from Kansas and dozens nationwide who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol while Congress was meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race.

The FBI received a tip on Jan. 11 that Parks had participated in the insurrection. After interviewing the women, investigators used a photo one of the women provided to track down additional images of them inside the Capitol from security footage and police body cameras.

“Schwemmer claimed that she and Parks walked to the front of the Capitol Building, encountered no barricades and no police officer told them to stop,” the FBI wrote. “Schwemmer saw the open doors to the U.S. Capitol Building and entered with Parks.”

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