Virginians identified among pro-Trump Capitol rioters, Virginia GOP chair backs antifa conspiracy theory, 2021 General Assembly looms, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Two Rocky Mount police officers have been placed on leave after photographs circulated showing them among the pro-Trump mob inside the U.S. Capitol. The men insist they did nothing illegal. One wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem.”—Roanoke Times

• A Mathews County man arrested for storming the Capitol says he also attended the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. In an interview, he expressed concern that Democratic leaders were in a blood-drinking cult and believed Trump personally called him to D.C.—Wall Street Journal

• One of the rioters who was photographed wearing a sweatshirt that read “Camp Auschwitz” has been identified as a Newport News man.—New York Times

• Activists in Richmond and Charlottesville are among those working to identify members of the pro-Trump mob. “If you’ve ever stayed up way too late trying to find your ex’s wedding pictures on Instagram, you can dox a Nazi. It’s the same skill set,” said Charlottesville’s Molly Conger.—Washington Post

• The chairman of the Virginia GOP backed conspiracy theories that antifa helped storm the Capitol. Law enforcement groups have repeatedly said there’s no evidence the group played a role.—Prince William Times

• “Some local health departments across Virginia will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines next week for limited portions of the general public as the state begins to move into its second phase of vaccine distribution.”—Associated Press

• The General Assembly convenes for its regular session Wednesday. Democrats plan to take up an agenda that includes COVID-19 relief, marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform.—Associated Press

• GOP leaders have said they’ll hold lawmakers to the constitutionally prescribed 30-day session in an effort to limit Democrats’ legislative work, but Gov. Ralph Northam said that if they do, he’ll just call a special session to give lawmakers time to finish their work. “I’ve had discussions with the leadership, and they know I’m not gonna sit back and collect dust for the last year I have.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Northam says he’s weighing year-round schooling for next year as a way to catch up students who have fallen behind during remote learning.—WTOP

• “Liberty University on Friday sued Gov. Ralph Northam and the director of the body charged with coordinating higher education in the commonwealth over changes to a state-funded tuition assistance program that bars online students from receiving financial aid.”—News & Advance

• A Richmond judge dismissed three misdemeanor charges of “improper conduct at a polling place” brought against Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond.—Washington Post

• “Virginia State Police on Friday denied any involvement with the creation of a pair of collectible coins that reference a controversial traffic stop in Northern Virginia and the state agency’s response to civil unrest in Richmond last summer.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Quantico the military base is threatening to shut off water to Quantico the independent town, according to the town’s mayor, who cited a long-running dispute over utility rates the Marine Corps has been charging.—InsideNOVA

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