Maryland Elections Board Member Resigns After Arrest On Jan. 6 Riot Charges

The official, Carlos Ayala, faces a felony and several misdemeanor charges.
Supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
John Minchillo/Associated Press

A member of Maryland’s Board of Elections resigned this week after he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Carlos Ayala, 52, was arrested Tuesday on a felony count of civil disorder and several related misdemeanor charges, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

An FBI affidavit dated Monday describes how Ayala allegedly approached the front of the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, wearing a hooded U.S. flag sweatshirt “cinched tightly around his head,” a “Stop the Steal” button and a “grey 3M-style painter’s mask with large filters on each cheek.” He also carried a flag with the words “We the People” and “Defend” on it, hung on a makeshift flagpole made from a PVC pipe.

During the breach, Ayala shoved the flag through a broken window of the Capitol and waved it around, according to the affidavit. After moving toward a door, Ayala allegedly jabbed the flag at an officer, who then grabbed the flag and ripped it off the plastic pipe. Moments later, according to footage referenced in the affidavit, a pipe is seen flying at the police line as rioters make their way into the building.

A few minutes after that, Ayala approached the police line and yelled, “Join us!” the affidavit said.

According to The New York Times, Ayala made an initial appearance in court on Thursday and was released under pretrial supervision.

Ayala had been appointed by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) last year to serve on the state’s election board, the Times reported. His resignation from the four-year position was confirmed Thursday by the board’s chair, Michael Summers.

“The board is committed to maintaining the security and integrity of our elections in Maryland in a non-partisan manner,” Summers said in a statement.

In a statement to NBC News and other news outlets, Maryland Republican Party chair Nicole Beus Harris said that Ayala chose to resign “because he believes that the 2024 elections process and the State Board of Elections is extremely important and should not be muddied with distraction.”

More than 1,200 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, including former President Donald Trump, who was indicted last year on four federal felony charges for his role in the insurrection.

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