FEDERAL COURT, Feb 26– During closing arguments of the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, insurrectionist Thomas Edward Caldwell was ordered detained until trial by District Judge Amit P. Mehta. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below. (US v. Caldwell affidavit on Patreon here).
Now on February 26 Jessica Watkins, who as a founder of a small Ohio militia was present at the Capitol on January 6, was ordered detained pending trial. Inner City Press live tweeted it here: (Podcast here)
Defense lawyer deals with the Davis case (basis of many re-sentencings throughout the Federal system), on what is a crime of violence.
Judge Mehta: Do you agree on this ten year overlap referenced in the Bail Reform Act... for destruction of Federal property? Defense lawyer: Judge Nichols deal with this this morning on Gina Bisignano, and released her
Judge Mehta: Are you saying that, for example, pouring blood on the Lincoln Memorial is a crime of violence? AUSA: We have the 6th Circuit case in Jenkins, about pillaging. Force is applied. There is a Black's Law point that there can be a non-forcible taking
AUSA: Of consider indirect application of force like poison. Pouring a drop of poison into water does not require much application of force, it has an impact. Like graffiti, thousands of dollars of damage. Here, the property damage is over $1000.
Judge Mehta: This is where I come out. I think that the government is correct that the crime charged for destruction of property, with maximum term of 10 years - I'm going off plain text. They overlap at 10 years, as Circuit courts have said... Inner City Press @innercitypress · 1h Judge Mehta: For example US v. Theriault, 555 F2d 460
Judge Mehta: I do think this qualifies as a qualifying offense. But I don't agree that just because a presumption applies, it obviates the need for a detention hearing. Inner City Press @innercitypress · 1h AUSA: There were 100s of people at the Capitol that day. Her case is not part of the general pattern. She recruited, planned and organized a major part of this insurrection. She tried to intimidate government - it's the Federal crimes of terrorism, as it's defined
AUSA: Her deals have not abated, her feelings against the government - "nothing wrong with that" - but confined with her actions, she should be detained. Judge Mehta: These Quick Reaction force, the text messages with Mr. Caldwell...
Judge Mehta: Does the government have proof there were people outside of the District ready with weapons? We could do it outside of the public session. AUSA: I would appreciate that. Judge Mehta: OK, we'll go into a break-out closed session.
Ten minutes and Judge Mehta is still in closed session to hear evidence about there being people waiting outside DC with weapons on January 6. Either there's a lot of evidence, or a lot of questions - or both.... Photo from US v. Jessica Watkins
OK - Judge Mehta is back: You did sent me on Tuesday the recipe you alluded to in your papers. AUSA: The recipe for bomb making was one that appeared in the Anarchist Cookbook, published in the early 1970s. The author went by the name Jolly Roger.
Judge Mehta: Who typed it? AUSA: We don't know. Judge Mehta: Is there any exculpatory evidence? AUSA: We are accessing all the video, we don't have it yet. We don't see her assaulting an officer, per se. But she said in Ohio, We stood our ground and drew the line
AUSA: We take that to mean she tried to repel police trying to protect the building. So it's physical confrontation... Meanwhile, she proposes to reside with her partner who we understand to also be a militia member.
AUSA: Person-1, a founder of the Oath Keepers, says not to follow orders of this current president. We are concerned. Ms. Watkins says, "I don't underestimate the resolve of the Deep State... Then it is our duty to resist." This type of zeal has not dissipated.
AUSA: She said she is proud of being a member of the Oath Keepers. She has become more strident. So there are no set of conditions to release her. Judge Mehta: What's the date of the Person-1 communication in ECF 30, Page 4?
AUSA: January 12. Defense lawyer: So she said $50 to be a member of the Oath Keepers. But she's really just a consultant. She is not a planner for the Oath Keepers. She did that for militia, it is a small group. She is going to put on the record here she wants to disband the militia
Defense lawyer: And her bar is not called Jolly Roger because of the Anarchist Cookbook. Jolly Roger is a pirate. Judge Mehta: The cookbook walks about making plastic explosive from bleach. Defense lawyer: She had them just because they are interesting.
Defense lawyer: Jessica Watkins is a trained medic. She served in the army. She was there on January 6 to try to help keep order, they should Antifa and BLM would be there.
Judge Mehta: What's troubling here is her communication on this closed circuit system. An unknown male says, We have probable cause to make a citizen's arrest for election fraud. Defense lawyer: Ms. Watkins did say that. She wasn't even hearing everything said
Defense lawyer: There's been in this court a woman who used a battering ram. That's not Ms. Watkins. Did she do a little chest thumping? Sure. But that does not support the finding that she destroyed any property. At most, aiding and abetting.
Defense lawyer: There's been a lot of disparities and inconsistencies in who gets released and who does. That happens when you go before judges all over the country. There was the gentleman who used a flag pole to break the glass where Ashli Babbitt was killed
Defense lawyer: 21-mj-76, he wasn't even detained. A man who used a taser, on multiple occasions. An officer nearby suffered a heart attack after being tased. Another request for a break-out room...
Defense lawyer (female, easier to ID)- still comparing to other cases: Flexi-cuffs, guy pushed officer and had to be pepper sprayed, in these cases the government did not seek detention. This morning Judge Nichols released a woman who was aerosol spraying officers
Defense lawyer: There are a lot of complex aspects to Ms. Watkins. She wants to make a statement in a moment. Ms Watkins: Me and Mr. Montana, we co-founded our militia, to help people in the tornado alley in Ohio. My fellow Oath Keepers have turned my stomach.
Ms. Watkins: For the record, your Honor, I have disbanded my militia. We're done with that life style. It's time to let all of that go. I don't intend to use social media, even for amusement. I just want to focus on my business. I'm sorry. I'm humiliatated.
AUSA: She's a regional leader of her militia, hooked up with the Oath Keepers, before January 6. She recruited Parker, who went into the building.
Judge Mehta: Mr. Caldwell, he was an organizer. Is the government asking that others be held in this conspiracy. Defense lawyer: The Parkers have both been released. Judge Mehta: I'm going to go off the record and think about some things. I'll be back at 3:50 [in ten minutes.]
Judge Mehta is ruling: She has been referred to as the commanding officer of the militia in Ohio. She is a member of the Oath Keepers. She has participated in planning calls with the Oath Keepers and is in communication with the leader of the Oath Keepers
Judge Mehta: She was organizing groups to come to the city on January 6. On the nature and circumstances of the offense, candidly, present a danger. This is historic, an incursion on the Capitol. She was an organizer.
Judge Mehta: There's this recipe for making a destructive device. I think it's indicative of things she may have thought about. I do think this favors detention. I refer to my comments in the closed session.
Judge Mehta: Whatever the President said, it doesn't justify bringing weapons toward Washington DC. Are there lesser conditions? I've thought about that - but I can't get there.
Judge Mehta: I'm concerned about your partner, being a member of the Ohio militia. Today you've renounced the Oath Keepers. But I have to balance that against your prior conduct. You might re-affiliate. We cannot monitor all of your communications, encrypted apps
Judge Mehta: I am not prepared to release Ms. Watkins. I grant the government's motion to detain her. Next date is March 12.
We'll have more on this.
Inner City Press live tweeted Riley June Williams on January 25, here.
Inner City Press' John Earle Sullivan song on SoundCloud here.
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