Hillsboro man accused of assaulting Capitol police runs for Oregon governor
In the depths of an encyclopedic review of lesser known candidates vying for governor of Oregon, the Salem Oregon Capital Chronicle news site makes a startling discovery: One of the Republican primary contestants is facing federal assault charges stemming from the failed insurgency in the United States Capitol.
Reed Christensen, 63, filed for governor on Jan. 7, a year and a day after federal prosecutors said he punched a Capitol police officer with his fists as rioters tried to cancel the presidential election.
WW reported in April that Christensen, a retired Intel electrical engineer living in Hillsboro, faces charges of forcibly assaulting, resisting, obstructing or interfering with law enforcement, and giving himself up willfully and knowingly to an act of physical violence on the grounds of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
That makes him one of the few Oregonians charged in the Jan. 6 attack, along with two Baptist missionary brothers and a Moldovan-born conservative Instagram influencer. It is also part of what Politico identified as a trend Republican candidates who were in Washington, DC, that day, seeking to install President Donald Trump for a second term.
But few of those job seekers participated in the Capitol storming or face federal charges.
Reached by phone Saturday evening, Christensen said WW that he is proud of his actions that day.
“I think January 6 was an appropriate reaction from the American people,” he said. “I think this was the first time since maybe even the Civil War that Republicans didn’t just wave signs at a rally, but actually had a protest.
“That’s what I did,” he continued. “I made a demonstration. I tried to cross the line of control to wave a flag from the Capitol steps. When I came back from the January 6 rally, I felt like I had been part of Boston Tea Party 2.0. If anything, I no longer have the right to run for governor because I defended the Constitution.
A criminal affidavit filed April 14 by FBI agent Byron J. Speakes describes Christensen’s actions differently.
“At 2:20 p.m., Christensen first attempted to forcibly remove the barriers from the bike rack,” Speakes wrote, referring to the metal gates that were preventing rioters from advancing toward the Capitol. “At this time, a Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) officer deployed a chemical irritant (“OC spray”) to Christensen’s face in order to delay removal of the barrier.
“Despite receiving a directed spray of OC spray in his face, Christensen pushed forcefully against the bike rack barriers and against the USCP and MPD officers,” the affidavit continues. “Christensen then broke through the perimeter of the West Lower Terrace bike rack.” Capitol Police then gave Christensen a bottle of water to wash the pepper spray from his eyes.
Three minutes later, writes Speakes, “Christensen charged through the perimeter and struck Officer Chapman. Christensen then pushed against the body of a USCP officer and punched a second USCP officer.
Christensen made the events of that day central to his campaign material, claiming that he stands up to a tyrannical government. He said WW in tonight’s interview that the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home and mask orders were an overreach by the government that logically resulted from mail-in ballot elections it deemed fraudulent.
“Will the leftists who control this state at least hold a one-day open election and convince me that the majority of people want this?” He asked. “Why would I lose my rights as an American following a closed election where I have to believe that no county cheated? Why don’t you convince me with an open and honest election? »
Christensen says he and his wife will spend the next 10 months traveling around Oregon in an RV to speak with voters. The next hearing in his federal assault case is March 23.