Jan. 6 defendants now insist on trial delays based on concealed evidence
The fact that security video footage of events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, just now is being released – it had been concealed from the public and criminal case defendants for years by Democrats – is disrupting the processing of those cases in the judicial system.
A report from the Epoch Times explains, “A growing number of people charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol are requesting trial delays so they can review newly disclosed footage.”
The report cited Shane Jenkins, who filed a motion through a lawyer to delay the trial because of the disclosure of some 41,000 hours of security footage. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to give Tucker Carlson access to those tapes.
His lawyer, Dennis Boyle, told the court, “Mr. Jenkins requests that his trial currently set to begin on March 21, 2023, be moved so defense counsel can review the additional discovery.”
The issue has turned into a huge one – politically and otherwise.
The first series of videos released on Monday showed that the “QAnon Shaman,” Jake Chansley, who was arrested and sentenced to four years in jail for being in the Capitol that day, actually was escorted through the Capitol, and let into the Senate chamber, by security officers.
Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, who has appeared in front of Congress to testify on such issues, said the video evidence obviously raises new questions.
“The videotapes aired on the Tucker Carlson Show this week shows Chansley being escorted by officers through the Capitol. Two officers appear to not only guide him to the floor but actually appear to be trying to open locked doors for him. At one point, Chanseley is shown walking unimpeded through a large number of armed officers with his six-foot flag-draped spear and horned Viking helmet on his way to the Senate floor,” he explained.
He notes Chansley “at no point” appears to be violent or threatening.
“Indeed, he appears to thank the officers for their guidance and assistance,” he said.
He charged, “The public should have been given access to this footage long ago and the Jan. 6th Committee withheld important evidence on what occurred inside the Capitol on that day. While it is understandable that many would object to Carlson being given an exclusive in the initial release, many in the media are denouncing the release of the footage to the public at all. Press and pundits are now opposing greater transparency in resisting any contradiction of the narrative put forward by the Jan. 6th Committee. Indeed, one MSNBC commentator angrily objected that this is ‘criminal evidence’ — ignoring that it is evidence that was denied to criminal defendants.”
He said he spoke with Chansley’s counsel, Bill Shipley, who confirmed the evidence had been withheld by the government from him.
Had Democrats not withheld evidence in his case, Turley wrote, “Defense counsel could have noted that his ‘obstruction’ in going to an unoccupied Senate floor was facilitated by officers. While the police were clearly trying to deescalate the situation after the Capitol was breached, this is evidence of how Chansley came to the Senate. Indeed, his interaction with officers could have impacted how he viewed the gravity of his conduct. It certainly would have been material to the court in sentencing the conduct.”
But he said, the judge who sentenced Chansley undoubtedly would have “found this footage material … frankly alarming.”
He warned, “The role of Congress in withholding this footage is disgraceful and wrong. The Congress and the January 6th Committee knew of this footage and its relevance to a pending criminal case. Yet, they refused to make it public. Instead, the January 6th Committee hired a former ABC producer to put on a made-for-television production of highly edited images for public consumption. Countervailing evidence or images were consistently excluded and witnesses appeared as virtual props to support high-quality video packages.”
The Epoch Times reported Boyle explained, “The request for additional time is necessary in order to adequately and diligently review all discovery pertaining to Mr. Jenkins and to determine whether any video contains relevant and material information that would pertain to Mr. Jenkins’ defense. Video evidence depicting Mr. Jenkins would constitute both exculpatory and material evidence, which would require disclosure from the government. Due to the large amount of video being released, and because Mr. Jenkins is currently incarcerated, we request additional time to review the information and prepare for trial.”
The report cited another defendant, William Pope, who told the court he lacks access to “more than 99 percent of discovery” even though more than two years have elapsed since he was arrested.
Pope noted the legislative branch held the evidence.
“Now that the Legislative Branch has given defendants their blessing to have due process access to legislative files, the government’s already weak argument to deny due process has collapsed. This court should immediately grant me full access to discovery,” he wrote.
Yet another defendant, Ryan Nichols, also asked for a delay in his trial so his lawyers could review the footage.
“Defendant’s position is simple and straightforward: there is no justifiable reason why this newly available evidence had not been made available before today—thus, any possible prejudice to the prosecution from a continuance is dwarfed by Defendant’s constitutional right to defend himself,” Nichols said through his lawyers.
Yet another request from defendant Sara Carpenter was rejected by Judge James Boasberg, who was given his lifetime job by Barack Obama.