The judge’s blunt assessment of the current and accused political climate came in a court decision regarding an accused who was lured to Washington, DC, in January. And that adds to a growing chorus of warnings from officials who are closely assessing the consequences of the Capitol Riot on the level of threat that could still be.
“The constant pace which prompted the accused to take up arms has not dissipated; six months later, the duck that the elections were stolen is repeated daily on major news outlets and in the corridors of power within the states and the federal government, not to mention in the almost daily fulminations of the former president DC District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in an opinion to keep defendant Cleveland Meredith Jr. in jail because he could endanger the public if released.
Meredith reportedly texted that he wanted to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, on live television and carried a weapons and ammunition trailer to Washington in January. He pleaded not guilty.
Federal judges have been warning for weeks that the continuing push at Trump’s baseless claim that the election was “stolen” – sometimes called “the big lie” -om right-wing media, Republicans and ex. -President himself could keep himself alive. the same popular zeal that led to the January uprising. For this reason, some of the suspected rioters are still considered potentially dangerous. Judges had to make case-by-case decisions on whether to keep the accused in prison.
One defendant’s lawyer, Anthony Antonio, has spoken of what he calls “Foxitis,” saying his client has become convinced of the lie that Trump was denied re-election.
And another judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, kept another man – a Vietnam veteran who allegedly parked a cooler full of Mason bombs on Capitol Hill on January 6 and was inspired by the same election lies Republicans still push – in jail this week.
The man, Lonnie Coffman, had attempted to reach Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, in December and searched for contact details for Sean Hannity and others, prosecutors said. One of Cruz’s staff members told police that Coffman seemed to be “coming from the point of view of” the friend “by wanting to… help with the voter fraud he saw. “
Other judges in Washington handling the Capitol riot cases have previously noted how far-right members continue to reject election results and how self-proclaimed revolutionaries might want to act again. But politics alone would not be enough to keep riot accused in jail while awaiting trial.
“The Court is not convinced that the discontent and concern over the legitimacy of the election results has dissipated for all Americans. Former President Donald J. Trump continues to make forceful public comments on the illegitimate results that have put the current administration in place, ”Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in April, keeping a man accused of dragging in jail. and beaten police officers.
Judge Paul Friedman, considering the opportunity to release a man who had driven across the country with guns and then allegedly assaulted police at the Capitol, examined prosecutors’ assertion that defendant Nathaniel DeGrave could always be a threat because even after the riot he would idolize Trump and believe lies about election fraud
“Of course, Mr. DeGrave has the right to express his views on politics, the 2020 election and government under the First Amendment. The Court need not take Mr. DeGrave’s political preferences into account in concluding that he poses a serious risk of committing acts of violence. in the future. His conduct speaks for itself, ”Friedman wrote. “Mr. DeGrave was not carried away by the excitement of the moment; rather, his statements show that he planned to confront and perpetrate violence on Capitol Hill. “
Jackson, in another Capitol Riots accused case, noted in April in Joshua Black’s case that he claimed he had been called by God to enter the bedroom and said he would take up arms in a revolution if necessary.
“It’s not as if the effort by some political leaders and media figures to stoke this type of anger has abated in any way,” Jackson said at a hearing for Black. “Isn’t it fair to say that the same political issues and the same political concerns are pumped into the airways every day? “
She released Black, before warning him that even though he felt himself called back to Washington by a higher power, he could not violate court orders without consequence.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.