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In DC Insurrection Case Lopatic Poised For Release After DOJ Changes Theory After Munchel Decision

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast Song
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT, April 5 – Minutes into a break in the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, accused insurrectionist Domenic Pezzola was ordered detained until trial by Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather. Inner City Press live tweeted it, below. There was an appeal.

  Now on April 5, after the DC Circuit's decision in US v. Munchel, Magistrate G. Michael Harvey on April 5 expressed skepticism at the government's attempt to continue to detain, not as a danger but a risk of flight and of obstruction of justice, a defendant who was part of an assault on police officers on January 6 and took one of the officers body-cam. A seond hearing, and probably decision, is set for April 6 at 3:30 pm. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here:

US v. MICHAEL JOHN LOPATIC, now a detention hearing before DDC Magistrate Harvey. Inner City Press covered the related Jeffrey Sabol case

 Assistant US Attorney: The defendant is charged with assaulting a Metropolitan Police officer and taking another officer's body camera, at the lower Western Terrace on January 6. It happened within about 90 seconds

AUSA: Officer "CM" was assaulted in the archway, as he attempted to save Officer "BM." It is caught on a video, on YouTube. I'd like to play 3 videos for the court, each selected for a separate reason. Judge: Has the defense received these clips? Defense: Yes.

 AUSA: You are going to hear the defendant says, "F*ck you all." Let me share my screen. [Note: press and public cannot see this video and no URL has been read out in the proceeding, as some other Magistrates require.]

AUSA: The next clip is posted by Storyful. The Court can see a person holding a crutch, using it to hit an officer. Then the defendant will appear in the bottom right portion of the screen. [Sounds of shouting]

 Judge Harvey: Where is the defendant? Can you point at him with your -- AUSA: Sure your Honor. Judge: What red jacket are you referring to? AUSA: Sorry Your Honor, I meant, red baseball cap.

AUSA: You're going to see his T-shirt saying, "I Have PTSD - Pretty Tired of Stupid Democrats" AUSA: Follow the Irish shamrock pin... The defendant tries to put his arm around Officer CM's neck. Judge: Who's body-worn camera footage is this? AUSA: Officer "SS."

 Judge Harvey: Are you saying the defendant assaulted Officer CM? AUSA: Either him or this other individual we have yet to identify... We know you want us to address the DC Circuit's decision in Munchel. So we will: there, there was no violence. Here there was

 AUSA: The chief judge in Chrestman has said to focus on those who used violence. So we will. This defendant posted pictures of birds we killed, he called one "old Nancy," clearly a reference to Nancy Pelosi.

 AUSA: He's showing quite violent photos of animal deaths. Furthermore, on January 1 there's a post, January 6, Go forth and we fight. Defendant says, Yes. Under Munchel, we look at cognizant action calling others to arms.

Judge Harvey: Why did you bring these individuals in the same indictment? AUSA: The investigation is continuing. They may not have been coordination in advance, but there are actions in concert. There's the man with the crutch jabbing Officer BM, for example.

 Judge Harvey: A co-defendants was released by Chief Judge Howell. How is Mr Lopatic different? AUSA: Here, we are not saying that the 111a1 charge is a crime of violence. We are saying risk of flight and of obstruction of justice - he stole the body worn camera

 Judge Harvey:  I am going to want to review other transcripts. But I am concerned about being asked to detain a person whose similar co-defendant was released. Defense: I thought they were arguing danger to the community. Judge Harvey: I did too. [#fail]

 Judge Harvey: Government, I must say, I was disappointed in a detention memo I got that did not address Munchel. Here, you did 25 minutes on violence, then switched to obstruction, only because I asked. If you're not arguing crime of violence, I don't know.

Judge Harvey: I'll tell you now, he's not a risk of flight. He's just not. If I'm going to release him, he needs to be released promptly. We can have another hearing tomorrow at 3:30.

Judge Harvey: I'm thinking of Mr Leffingwell, who assaulted an officer but had some mental issues.

[DOJ is has been thrown for a loop by the Munchel decision]

We will have more on this.

Inner City Press live tweeted Riley June Williams on January 25, here. 

  From January 22, song here: Thread here.

 Inner City Press' John Earle Sullivan song on SoundCloud here. 


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