Federal prosecutors appear to be moving toward a close encounter with reality in their attempts to prosecute some of those who were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 when some protesters turned into rioters and broke windows, doors and did other vandalism.
But others were there, and did not vandalize anything. Some, in fact, entered the building in front of police officers who held doors open.
Still, federal prosecutors have arrested hundreds of people who were identified by videos made on that day, or were turned in by their neighbors.
Some have been behind bars ever since as prosecutors add new paperwork to their court files regularly, some have been charged, and a handful have reached agreements, generally for punishments including probation.
But a new report from PJMedia now reveals how the foundations for some cases is shaking.
The report profiled the case involving Thomas Edward Caldwell, whose lawyer now has asked a federal judge to move the case out of “Trump-hating” Washington, D.C.
He was the first protester to be arrested after the events that included a police officer shooting and killing an unarmed woman.
The report said, “The coverage of his arrest set the tone for media coverage of all other arrestees in the Department of Justice’s ‘shock and awe’ plan to root out alleged ‘white nationalist’ militancy.”
But Caldwell’s lawyer, Attorney David W. Fischer, is raising some serious concerns.
He wants the case moved to the Western District of Virginia where “there are fewer people who ‘despise many things that traditional America stands for’ and who have less ‘petulant intolerance for those with differing views,’” the report explains.
After all, only 5% of Washington residents voted for Trump, and many believed the debunked claims by Democrats, pushed for years during Trump’s presidency, that he colluded with Russia.
Caldwell, a 20-year Navy veteran, is accused of conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted area, and tampering with documents or proceedings.
But his lawyer has submitted to the court that he is not a “white supremacist,” did not suggest “gassing” members of Congress and did not lead Oath Keepers, since he’s not even a member.
“The motion for the change-of-venue is a near-complete takedown of the efforts undertaken by federal investigators and prosecutors to poison the jury pool and media coverage, which, let’s be honest, isn’t hard. It’s such a scintillating read that it could be a movie,” PJMedia said.
The report went on: “The defense motion claims that prosecutors ‘knowingly disseminated false and incendiary claims’ that Caldwell and others planned to sack the Capitol and ‘execute’ people when they had no evidence for it – not even after conducting a ‘cyber colonoscopy’ on cell phones and computers. There was no ‘plan,’ Caldwell’s attorney claims. That allegation was based on ‘a rumor started by government bureaucrats attempting to cover up their incompetent leadership.’”
Prosecutors have, in his case, made claims, and then backed away, several times. Among the more egregious statements was that Caldwell and others were trying to trap and kill members of Congress, that he was on an “execution squad.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin also gave a “reckless” interview about the case that implied sedition charges could be coming, the report said.
Among many others, those “prosecutorial whoppers” mean the case needs to be moved, the defense contends.
Further, the defense explained it would be impossible to find a neutral jury in Washington for a number of reasons listed by Fischer:
“District residents … have hectored Trump-supporting Members of Congress, surrounded them in restaurants (e.g., Ted Cruz), congregated around their homes (e.g., Lindsay Graham, Josh Hawley), aggressively confronted them on the street (e.g., Rand Paul), and engaged in incessant ‘protests’ around former Majority Leader McConnell’s home. District protesters attempted to burn down historic St. John’s church, vandalized millions of dollars of statues and other property, and surrounded the White House in an illegal assemblage during BLM and anti-Trump protests. One Democrat Hill staffer yelled ‘**** you, Mr. President’ as President Trump walked the halls of Congress. The crowd at the Washington Nationals baseball game booed resident Trump during the World Series. An anti-Trump zealot shot up a softball practice just across the Potomac in Alexandria, nearly killing Majority Whip Steve Scalise,” the report said.
Prosecutors have made no attempt to conceal their prejudice, having called protesters “white trash” and having handed out “hate therapy” reading lists to defendants.
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