NEW YORK — The son of a Brooklyn judge was arrested and hit with federal criminal charges for his participation in the pro-Trump siege of the U.S. Capitol last week.
Aaron Mostofsky appeared virtually in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday on a felony charge of theft of federal property, and charges of illegally entering a restricted government building and disorderly conduct disrupting a session of Congress.
Mostofsky is the son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, a leader in the city’s conservative Orthodox community. He is seen in photos inside the Capitol dressed in fur pelts, wearing a Capitol Police officer’s bullet proof vest and holding a Capitol Police riot shield.
He was released on $100,000 bond after agreeing not to attend any political gatherings or visit any state Capitol — and not to leave New York City unless court officials approve. He will stay at his brother’s home in Brooklyn.
Mostofsky is accused of “taking part in what was a mob attack and a rampage on the U.S. Capitol,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz. “Given the events of last week, the government is deeply troubled by the conduct of the defendant.”
The defendant’s attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz, said he will steer clear of politics.
“The evidence will show that he was not part of the mob and he was not rampaging,” Schwartz said.
“But he understands the gravity of what he’s being charged with. He understands how the whole thing in Washington got totally out of hand,” he added. “His only interest now is to address these charges and to hopefully get a resolution that’s just.”
The complaint estimates that the bullet proof vest he took was worth $1,905, while the riot shield is valued at $256.65 — making Mostofsky liable for a felony for stealing federal government property worth more than $1,000.
The complaint also charges he posted photos and videos from inside the Capitol on his Instagram account. When another user sent him a message saying ““Your famous,” he wrote back, “IK [I know] unfortunately.” He also wrote of his presence at the Capitol, “But it was like I’m here now how did I get there.”