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Illinois brothers plead guilty to charges in US Capitol attack

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CHICAGO — Two Illinois brothers pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges for their participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Mark Kulas, Jr., of Lake Forest, and Christian Kulas, of Kenilworth, both in their 20s, pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building, a misdemeanor that could lead to up to six months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

The brothers are sons of the wealthy owner of a North Shore maid service, Kulas Maids, and attended Lake Forest High School.

A 10-page criminal complaint against Christian Kulas said the younger brother was captured on social media and surveillance images wearing a Burberry coat and a hat with a Donald Trump campaign slogan, “Keep America Great.”

Video clips on an Instagram account associated with Kulas also showed people at a rally where Trump was speaking and video of rioters at the Capitol steps after the rally.

Two other charges were dropped against Christian Kulas — entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

Mark Kulas Jr. was charged in late November, five months after his younger brother.

According to a statement of offense, the brothers flew from Illinois to Washington the day before the attacks. They attended a Trump rally then marched to the Capitol building. Both wore hats with Trump’s political slogans.

The brothers spent about 20 minutes in the Capitol building, entering after earlier rioters had forced the doors open, according to the court document.

“There is no evidence that Christian Kulas or Mark Kulas, Jr. otherwise assisted the rioters using force against the police line in an effort to open the doorway,” the statement says.

The brothers returned to Illinois on Jan. 7, the statement says.

The Kulases are set to appear before Judge Thomas F. Hogan via Zoom for a sentencing hearing on March 7. Both remain free on personal recognizance.

The brothers are among at least 15 Illinoisans charged in the Capitol attack, which has evolved into the largest criminal investigation in the country’s history.

Last month, former Inverness tech executive Bradley Rukstales became the first Illinoisan to be sentenced, with a judge ordering him jailed for 30 days for entering a restricted area and throwing a chair as rioters faced off with police.

On Friday, a Joliet-area couple — John and Amy Schubert of Crest Hill — pleaded guilty to the same charges as the Kulas brothers.

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