Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial delayed

Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial delayed

June 22, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

The trial will stretch for at least four to six weeks, prosecutors from the Department of Justice told Judge Kelly on Wednesday. 

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The schedule is already tight given that federal holidays would be just around the corner and Kelly said he would weigh whether or not that would mean an additional trial delay might be needed. He noted that if they began on Dec. 12, it of course would not be with opening arguments but jury selection.

That would put opening arguments at least a week away from Dec. 12, meaning the trial might not really get rolling until January 2023, all holidays considered.

Kelly said Wednesday he would issue an order formally explaining his decision. 

Considerable efforts have been taken to keep a clear separation of powers between the DOJ and the Jan. 6 committee but the department has become more aggressive of late as it has pursued documents currently in the committee’s possession. 

“As represented in our last hearing, the Department of Justice has neither access to the transcripts nor the ability to compel Congress, a co-equal branch of government to provide copies of the transcripts. While we do not know precisely when copies of the transcripts will be released, if they are released as currently anticipated in early September 2022, the parties to this trial will face unique prejudice because the jury for the Aug. 8 trial will have already been sworn and jeopardy will have already attached,” a June 16 motion from prosecutors states. 

In a letter dated June 15 to the committee’s chief investigative counsel Tim Heaphy, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves and assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite urged the committee to hand over “all” of its transcripts from witness depositions.

Motion to Continue Trial Plus Heaphy Letter June 16 2022 by Daily Kos on Scribd

With more than 1,000 interviews conducted by the committee, it is no small request by any standard.

“It is critical that the Department be able to evaluate the credibility of witnesses who have provided statements to multiple government entities in assessing the strength of any potential criminal prosecutions and to ensure that all relevant evidence is considered during the criminal investigations,” Graves wrote. 

The committee has opted against sharing any records for the time being and requests have been trickling in since at least April. Committee chair Bennie Thompson defended the decision last week saying that it is crucial for the panel to finish its work before it starts cooperating with the department. 

Thompson told reporters last Thursday:

“We will work with them but we have a report to do. We are not going to stop what we’re doing to share the information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work,” he said.

But on Wednesday, Politico reported that Thompson appeared more amenable: some records could be shared starting in July but not until public hearings are complete, he said.

Thompson also stressed that whatever transcripts it shared would not be held in the department’s possession. They could review it, though. 

This could pose logistical challenges.

Attorneys for Nordean, Biggs, Rehl, Pezzola, and Tarrio have for weeks complained about the sheer volume of evidence they must go through to bring the case to trial.

Though Judge Kelly has been sympathetic, he recently ordered prosecutors to produce new evidence immediately to speed the process along. But with the committee now signaling that it will only share the documents under certain terms, questions remain over how much compromise will be involved. 

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During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Kelly emphasized the need to keep the trial running apace once the jury is selected. 

“We owe it to the jury and to all parties to keep going as hard as we can to get this done,” Kelly said.

Only Tarrio opposed the motion to delay the trial on Wednesday. He cited grievances with being unable to obtain an impartial jury no matter how much time was put between his trial in D.C. and the committee’s public hearings. 

The January 6 committee will host its next hearing on June 23 at 3 PM ET. New hearings were announced on Wednesday for the coming weeks. They will begin in July but exact dates and times are to be announced.  



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