Rep. Issa calls for charges against SoCal man who interrupted State of the Union

A protester shouts as US President Joe Biden, not pictured, speaks during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Election year politics will focus on Biden’s comments are increasing and legislative backlash as he harasses the nation just months before voters will decide control of the House, Senate and White House. Photographer: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Shawn Thew/EPA via Getty Images)

Rep. Issa calls for charges against SoCal man who interrupted State of the Union

Sarah D. Wire

March 19, 2024

Rep. Darrell Issa


On Tuesday, the Capitol Police urged US Capitol Police to drop charges against the Southern California father who interrupted the State of the Union


by calling out his son’s name and the place where

his son

was killed in Afghanistan.

Steve Nikoui, 51,


father of a US Marine who was killed in 2021 as US forces withdrew from Afghanistan was arrested

March 7th

in the House of Representatives

on March 7

for interrupting President Biden’s State of the Union address. He shouted the names of Marines killed in a suicide bombing, including his son Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui and ‘Abbey Gate’, the site of the airport attack.

“The arrest of Mr. Nikoui for emotionally expressing his grief and seeking recognition for his son’s sacrifice during the State of the Union, where he shouted, ‘Abbey Gate! Kareem Nikoui! Second Battalion, First Marines!” highlighted a profound disconnect between the sacrifices our service members have made and the recognition they deserve. Although he interrupted the event, what Mr. Nikoui expressed out loud was a call for recognition of the loss the service members had families of the thirteen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” says Issa


wrote in a letter to Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger on Tuesday.

Issa joins other Republicans in pushing to drop the felony charges against Nikoui, noting that Fred Guttenberg, the father of a victim of the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, was escorted from the State of the President Donald Trump’s Union speech in 2020. for shouting, but was not arrested.

Nikoui, from Norco

in River Province

, attended the speech as a guest of Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.). Conflicting stories have emerged


whether Nikoui got caught up in the moment or entered the House chamber with the intention of interrupting the speech.

Capitol Police gave Nikoui several warnings

to stop yelling before he is removed from the room around 10:15 PM ET.

“Disrupting Congress and demonstrating in the congressional buildings is illegal,” the department said in a statement released that evening.

A Capitol Police spokesperson referred further questions to the attorney general of the District of Columbia.

A spokesperson for the attorney general declined to comment.

While police

arrest people

, it will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to pursue charges. As such, the Capitol Police have no control over whether Nikoui

is something


A spokesperson for the city’s attorney general declined to comment.

Nikoui is expected to appear in court on March 28. He is confronted

a nice

up to $500, although that amount is routinely reduced to $50.

Nikoui’s situation has therefore attracted attention

circumstances, time and place

of his protest and the Republican representatives who have called for the charges to be dropped. But the accusation is fairly routine

for demonstrators who look at people when they protest

interrupt the power

from front

Congress to operate.

Protests are so common on Capitol Hill that those

expect planning

to be arrested, often hold


$50 to pay the fine in their hands while they wait for the Capitol Police to arrive.

Six people appeared in the District of Columbia Superior Court on Tuesday alone

burdens of

obtrusive, obstructive or annoying.



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