After a failed Republican candidate for Hawaii’s statehouse broadcast his participation in Wednesday’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol, Hawaii U.S. Attorney Kenji Price pledged his office would help bring to justice participants of the mob who have a connection to the state.

Nick Ochs, a self-described “nationalist,” tweeted a photo from inside the Capitol on Wednesday. In it, he grins while posing with a male friend, both of them smoking cigarettes in one of America’s most hallowed spaces.

“Hello from the Capital lol,” Ochs wrote, misspelling Capitol. He also admitted to CNN that he entered the building with other rioters, which was captured in photos taken by media at the scene.

Nich Ochs, right, poses with a friend who has not been publicly identified.

Twitter

Ochs is the founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, a local chapter of a far-right organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group.

As of Thursday afternoon, Ochs’ name did not appear in Washington D.C.’s criminal case search or on a list of arrestees released by Washington D.C. police.

In a statement that did not mention Ochs or anybody else by name, Price said his office will conduct or assist in conducting any investigation or prosecution related to the insurrection that has “an appropriate nexus to our jurisdiction.”

“The acts of those who attacked the Capitol — and more importantly, attempted to stop the process by which free people determine who will lead this nation during the years that lie ahead — contravene the very principles that scores of public servants like me stand for and have, at times, risked life and limb to defend,” said Price, a former Army officer.

Hawaii Sen. Karl Rhoads, who chairs the state senate judiciary committee, said Ochs and others who stormed the building need to be held accountable.

“This is an attack on one of the sacred places of democracy, not just in the United States, but in the world,” he said. “For people to go in and trash the place like they were vandalizing an abandoned building just strikes at the heart of democracy in the United States.” 

Ochs claimed in the interview with CNN on Wednesday night that he didn’t go into any congressional offices or the chambers.

“We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed,” CNN quoted Ochs as saying. “There were thousands of people in there — they had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”

U.S. attorneys in many other states also voiced their commitment on Thursday to holding accountable insurrectionists from their districts. 

“I have two days left on this job,” Justin Herdman, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, tweeted. “I can go with very little sleep in that remaining time. If these people, or anyone else who committed federal crimes at the Capitol today, are from Northern Ohio, you are going to be held accountable before I leave office. Coffee is brewing …”

Before you go

Civil Beat readership has more than doubled in the past nine months. That’s incredible growth for which we’re so grateful.

But for a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall, readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism. The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters.

To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider becoming a new donor today?

About the Author