San Diego County man pleads guilty to role in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol siege
A San Diego County man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal misdemeanor for taking part in the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
Philip James Weisbecker, who lived in Ocean Beach at the time, is set to be sentenced in June for joining the mob that entered the Capitol building. While in the Capitol, Weisbecker entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and took selfies amid the throng of rioters, according to court documents.
An arrest warrant declaration states anonymous tipsters contacted authorities saying they knew Weisbecker and provided photographic evidence of him being present inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Weisbecker also posted a screenshot on his Facebook page from a Fox News TV program that showed him inside the U.S. Capitol, according to the declaration.
Court documents state that he later told a law enforcement officer that he traveled from San Diego to Washington D.C. on Jan. 5 to take part in the "Stop the Steal Protest" as a "citizen journalist." He said that he entered the Capitol building after seeing D.C. police remove barricades to the Capitol and admitted to entering Pelosi's office once inside.
He claimed in separate interviews with police that he did not believe Joe Biden to be the "legitimate president," that any damage to the building had been caused by "Antifa," and that Ashli Babbitt, the Ocean Beach woman fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol police officer on Jan. 6, did not exist.
The plea comes one week after former Coronado resident Jeffrey Alexander Smith was sentenced to a tentative three-month prison term for taking part in the breach.