Ação da campanha
Mehta, nomeado pelo ex-presidente Barack Obama, enfatizou que uma possível liberação de transcrições do julgamento de 1º de janeiro. 6 comitê nas próximas semanas também não justificava um atraso no julgamento.
Ele concordou em reconsiderar o pedido se as transcrições do comitê fossem públicas na véspera do julgamento de Rhodes e se os registros contivessem informações específicas sobre ele ou outros Oath Keepers sob acusação, incluindo Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins, Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel, Thomas Caldwell e Edward Vallejo.
Mas, de acordo com a Law and Crime, Mehta estava firmemente determinado a começar em setembro e disse aos advogados de defesa que se desiludissem da noção de que a cobertura de 1º de janeiro. 6 na imprensa iria manchar irrevogavelmente o resultado do julgamento.
“Quer este julgamento seja realizado em setembro, novembro ou dezembro ou janeiro, a mídia de notícias continuará cobrindo os eventos de 1º de janeiro. 6, antes das audiências de setembro ou após as audiências de setembro. Não vamos evitar essa publicidade em virtude de adiar este julgamento por alguns meses”, disse ele.
Enquanto isso, o deputado Bennie Thompson, presidente do comitê seleto que investiga o caso de 1º de janeiro. 6, disse a repórteres no mês passado que o painel havia começado a negociar com o Departamento de Justiça o acesso aos registros coletados durante sua investigação. Em uma declaração ao Politico dias depois, um porta-voz do comitê confirmou que cerca de 20 transcrições seriam compartilhadas em breve com o Departamento de Justiça. Nenhuma linha do tempo sobre isso especificamente foi dada. Um porta-voz não retornou imediatamente um pedido de comentário ao Daily Kos na segunda-feira.
O Jan. Espera-se que 6 comitês selecionados realizem audiências públicas no próximo mês, embora um cronograma exato ainda não tenha sido confirmado. Quando os membros se reunirem em seguida, eles provavelmente revisarão as descobertas que foram incluídas no relatório provisório do órgão. Também é possível que os investigadores do comitê divulguem novas informações ou outras evidências produzidas desde que suas oito audiências consecutivas foram concluídas neste verão.
Começar este julgamento de conspiração sediciosa do ponto de vista puramente logístico provou ser um pouco difícil, dado o grande número de Oath Keepers enfrentando acusações de conspiração, o processo sempre lotado no tribunal federal em Washington, DC, e o mais importante, a batalha sobre um enorme quantidade de descobertas que tanto os promotores quanto os advogados de defesa foram obrigados a analisar.
Mas depois de dois atrasos nesta primavera e várias tentativas fracassadas de mudar de local apresentadas pelos réus, o julgamento de 1º de setembro de 2018. O julgamento de conspiração sediciosa de 26 está em andamento, e o primeiro grupo de Oath Keepers a enfrentar os jurados será Rhodes, Meggs, Harrelson, Caldwell e Watkins.
O próximo grupo será julgado em fevereiro de 2023. Esses réus incluem os Oath Keepers Edward Vallejo, Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett e David Moerschel.
Os promotores acusam Rhodes e seus co-réus envolvidos em uma extensa trama armada para impedir a transferência pacífica de poder e orquestraram uma conspiração para obstruir a contagem de votos pelo Congresso em 1º de janeiro. 6 para esse fim.
Por meio do armazenamento de armas, do envio de “equipes de força de reação rápida” situadas nos arredores de DC, na Virgínia, e usando uma rede avançada de comunicações, os promotores dizem que membros do grupo extremista conspiraram para intimidar funcionários do governo, auxiliaram e incitaram a desordem civil e adulteraram documentos em para impedir a transferência de poder.
Os registros do tribunal arquivados antes do julgamento pelos promotores ofereceram um vislumbre do que eles planejam argumentar neste outono.
Em vez de permitir que os réus acumulem a responsabilidade por suas ações apenas nos ombros do ex-presidente Donald Trump, os promotores querem destacar como as ações individuais e coletivas dos Oath Keepers foram planejadas e bem pensadas.
Além disso, eles argumentaram, os Oath Keepers que invadiram o Capitólio, conspiraram para uma insurreição, ou de outra forma ajudaram uma conspiração para fazê-lo não estavam “recebendo ordens” do ex-presidente porque qualquer ordem teria sido ilegal.
“Aqui, qualquer defesa de ‘autoridade pública’ apresentada pelos réus falharia por duas razões: nenhum agente do governo possuía autoridade real para ordenar as ações criminais dos réus e, em qualquer caso, teria sido objetivamente irracional confiar em tal ordem”, escreveram os promotores em 29 de julho.
Trump não tinha autoridade para “permitir ou autorizar uma conspiração para se opor à força à autoridade do governo ou à execução das leis dos Estados Unidos, nem poderia ter sancionado legalmente o ataque ao Capitólio dos Estados Unidos em 6 de janeiro ou qualquer um dos a outra conduta criminosa supostamente perpetrada pelos réus”, argumentou o procurador dos EUA Matthew Graves.
Moção dos EUA para impedir certos argumentos de defesa no julgamento do Daily Kos no Scribd
Esta foi a mesma conclusão a que chegou o tribunal de DC quando considerou que o ex-presidente Ronald Reagan não podia ordenar a Oliver North que violasse a lei, “particularmente se tais ‘ordens’, explícitas ou implícitas, representassem nada mais do que [the president’s desires.’”
“Any claim that defendants believed theyhad been authorized as an agent of the Executive Branch to oppose by force the authority of the United States, or forcibly stop the congressional certification of the vote by breaking into the Capitol would be objectively unreasonable,” Graves wrote.
The department also wants to shut down any theorizing that suggests law enforcement or police at the Capitol tried to aid those breaching the complex.
“The government acknowledges that the conduct of law enforcement officers may be relevant to the defendants’ state of mind on January 6, 2021. However, unless defendants were aware of law enforcement’s alleged inaction at the time of their entry onto restricted grounds or into the Capitol building (or at the time they committed the other offenses charged in the indictment), any alleged inaction would have no bearing on the defendants’ state of mind and therefore would not meet the threshold for relevance,” a July 29 motion stated.
As for what some defendants want presented at trial, some Oath Keepers have asked to omit evidence from jurors, like the “death list” found in defendant Caldwell’s home after his arrest last January.
His attorneys chalked the list up to being a “doodle pad.”
Though the names of those on the list were not revealed when he was first arrested, Caldwell exposed in court filings last month that they were those of Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman.
Motion to Exclude Death List by Daily Kos
Moss and Freeman were forced to go into hiding as a result of the threats and harassment they experienced regularly when former President Donald Trump singled them out while spewing baseless conspiracy claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Moss testified under oath at one of the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings this June, choking back tears as she described how every part of her life has been turned “upside down.” At one point, she described a frantic call from her grandmother, who was terrorized as people knocked on her door and tried to barge in, claiming a citizens arrest needed to be made for Moss and her mother.
The scene was reminiscent of a modern-day lynching attempt.
“She was just screaming and didn’t know what to do. And I wasn’t there, so, you know, I just felt so helpless and so horrible for her. And she was just screaming. I told her to close the door and don’t open that door for anyone,” Moss testified.
RELATED STORY: Witnesses help tie Trump directly to bogus elector scheme during day of intense testimony
Prosecutors said evidence found in Caldwell’s Virginia home indicated he “dehumanized those who held opposing world views and discussed killing them, shooting them and mutilating their corpses to use them as shields.”
Caldwell has vehemently denied this, telling CNN through his attorney that suggestions he wished to assassinate officials or election workers was “100% false.”
The 66-year-old Navy intelligence veteran also sought to keep other evidence away from jurors, including records the government alleges show he tried to have someone build him firearms before Jan. 20. He has since argued in court that he was too weak to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 and has asked that his medication regimen be up for jurors’ consideration.
There has been a request too by co-defendant Jessica Watkins to keep allegations about “bomb making instructions” found in her home out of trial.
The Justice Department says it has evidence Oath Keepers toted grenades and other weapons with them in an RV when they came to Washington on Jan. 6. Court records show this allegation came by way of a disclosure from Florida Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs to fellow Florida resident Caleb Berry. Prosecutors allege Meggs told Berry that Oath Keeper Jeremy Brown had the explosives in his vehicle that day.
A search warrant of Brown’s residence turned up two illegal short-barrel firearms, and when agents searched the RV he used to go to Washington, they found grenades. Prosectors admitted they were unsure if the grenades found in Brown’s RV were the same ones that were stashed with the “quick reaction force” teams that positioned themselves in northern Virginia ahead of the Capitol assault.
Berry pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and a single count of obstruction and admitted to being part of the military stack formation that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. He admitted to coordinating plans with fellow Oath Keepers to bring weapons to Washington, and he entered the Capitol with body armor and tactical gear on around 2:40 PM.
Like Berry, Oath Keeper and Florida resident Graydon Young admitted to being in the stack. He has been cooperating with prosecutors as part of his plea agreement. Alabama Oath Keeper Mark Grods entered the Capitol after Young and others made it inside. Grods has pleaded guilty as well and has reportedly been sharing information with the federal government about the group’s encrypted chat network as well as plans for the weapons cache in Virginia.
Those who have pleaded guilty so far in the seditious conspiracy case include Joshua James, Brian Ulrich, and William Todd Wilson.
Wilson pleaded guilty in May to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding. His plea deal came as a surprise; he had not been previously named as a defendant in the Oath Keepers Jan. 6 cases.
Wilson allegedly joined Rhodes in the plot stop the transfer of power on Jan. 6 and worked with other regional leaders to take up Rhodes’ “call to arms,” prosecutors said. The 44-year-old North Carolina resident admitted that he was a member of the Oath Keepers since 2016 and that he linked up with Rhodes in a leadership chat group in November 2020.
With Rhodes’s instruction, Wilson drove from North Carolina to D.C. on Jan. 5, bringing an AR-15-style rifle, a 9 millimeter pistol, body armor, pepper spray, a pocketknife, and some 200 rounds of ammunition. Wilson told prosecutors he filmed his fellow Oath Keepers moving in the stack formation up the Capitol stairs, and that he entered closely behind Meggs and Berry.
Brian Ulrich of Georgia, who cried as he entered his guilty plea in court this April, admitted that he conspired for months with Rhodes to stop Congress from certifying the election on 2020. In the runup to the attack, he planned on using two backpacks, one filled to the brim with ammunition, “if shit truly hits the fan blades.”
“I’ll be the guy running around with the budget AR,” he wrote in a Dec. 31 Oath Keepers group chat.
Joshua James was the first Oath Keeper to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy and cop a deal with prosecutors. James admitted this March that he was part of the quick reaction force unit and further, that he was prepared to “report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter and use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard or other government actors who might be sent to remove President Trump as a result of the presidential election.”
James is the same Oath Keeper who chauffeured Trump ally and GOP operative Roger Stone around Washington in the runup to Jan. 6. When he was inside the Capitol, James admitted to brawling with police. Once he left, he met with Rhodes and other Oath Keepers. They changed clothes, he said, and worked fast to hide their identities. Then they met at Olive Garden to celebrate and plan what would come next. President Joe Biden’s inauguration was days away.
According to his indictment, in the hours after the insurrection, Rhodes was buzzing about what was to come.
“Thousands of ticked off patriots spontaneously marched on the Capitol,” he wrote. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Rhodes is currently being held in a detention facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
Members of the Proud Boys facing seditious conspiracy will go to trial in December after a federal judge in June agreed to delay proceedings.
The trial for the former chairman of the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, was supposed to begin Monday, Aug. 8, but U.S. District Judge Tim Kelly said weeks ago that he shared concerns from prosecutors and defense attorneys alike about new evidence that could soon emerge from the select committee. The new trial date is Dec. 12.
“The parties’ inability to prepare their respective cases to account for such additional information is potentially prejudicial to all parties,” assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson wrote.