- A California man pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction this week for his role in the Jan. 6 attack.
- Christian Secor was arrested earlier this year after multiple people helped the FBI identify him.
- Prosecutors say Secor’s far-right extremist views were well documented on social media.
A UCLA student who espoused extremist views online pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction this week after admitting to sitting in then-Vice President Mike Pence’s Senate Dias during the January 6 Capitol riot.
Christian Secor, 23, of Costa Mesa, California, initially faced ten charges related to the 2021 insurrection, including a felony count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 800 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some rioters lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.
Prosecutors also agreed not to bring a new charge against Secor for destroying digital evidence after he was accused of getting rid of his phone and car, moving into his mother’s basement, and bragging that he wouldn’t get caught following the attack, according to court documents.
Secor was arrested in February after 11 different people helped the FBI identify him. Prosecutors say Secor live-streamed the breach of the Capitol and was pictured sitting in Pence’s chair during the chaos.
Obstruction of an official proceeding carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but The Washington Post reported that Secor is more likely to face either 21 to 27 months or 53 to 61 months behind bars in line with advisory federal guidelines. His final sentence, which is set to be handed down in October, will ultimately depend on whether or not he is found to have caused property damage or injury.
In charging documents from earlier this year, investigators said Secor founded an unofficial club called “America First Bruins” while attending UCLA. The university’s student newspaper reported that he was active with the campus’ Republican group as recently as February 2020, at which time the organization said he was then banned for “inappropriate behavior.”
Following his arrest earlier this year, UCLA released a statement condemning Secor’s alleged actions.
“What I can tell you is that UCLA believes the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol was an attack on our democracy,” Bill Kisliuk, the UCLA director of media relations, told the Daily Bruin at the time. “As an institution, UCLA is committed to mutual respect, making decisions based on evidence and using rational debate — not physical violence.”
Secor also belonged to a podcast group called America First, hosted by known-white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes, whose far-right, extremist beliefs have been well documented, according to court documents.
Secor also shared his own extremist views online, espousing hateful views toward immigrants and Jews, referring to fascism as “epic” following the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and live-
under a moniker that referenced the UC Santa Barbara mass shooter who killed seven people in 2014, prosecutors said.
During the Capitol attack, Secor was seen carrying a blue “America First” flag and admitted in plea papers that he walked through Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office after breaching the building. He was also among a crowd of rioters who shoved police officers attempting to keep a set of double doors shut, per court documents.
An attorney for Secor did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.