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In Jan 6 Case Oath Keeper Hackett Who Brought Guns Is Released, Wife Has Podcast on Politics

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

FEDERAL COURT, August 23 -- Months after the DC Circuit's decisions in US v. Munchel and more recently Tanios, on August 23 DDC Judge Amit P. Mehta had before him Capitol breach defendant Joseph Hackett.

Hackett brought guns to outside of DC, as part of the Oath Keepers. But he was not as responsible as others, Judge Mehta found, and ordered him released. Afterward he said he wish he'd been told that Hackett's wife runs a political podcast. Inner City Press live tweeted it here - and its podcast here:

Now Jan 6 case of US v. Hackett before DDC Judge Mehta, with references to Kelly Meggs and others incl Harrelson, [video on whom Judge Mehta released to Inner City Press after application, see below]

Hackett's lawyer: To the extent the US says Mr. Hackett transported weapons to the hotel, he did not intend to use it, or bring it to the Capitol. I have not digested the evidence

 Hackett's lawyer: He was asked to serve as the point person for five or six people from Florida. He can be distinguished from Mr. Meggs - Mr. Hackett was not directing anyone else, he just passed on directions

Hackett's lawyer: If there a concern about future conduct, Mr. Hackett has no access to guns anymore. Judge Mehta: Were the guns legally owned? Hackett's lawyer: Yes. Every single one.

 Hackett's lawyer: The guns are family heirlooms. [Laugher]

Hackett's lawyer: For Florida, it doesn't look like as many as the government would like you to fear. AUSA: What Mr. Hackett was up to before the summer of 2020 is not relevant. He joined the Oath Keepers

 AUSA: As we get closer and closer to Jan 6, we see Mr. Hackett taking on a leadership role. He tells people to use ProtonMail so they can't be tracked, and to use cursive

 AUSA: He starts logging in only under his moniker, using a VPN. Our investigation is still ongoing. Mr. Hackett was particularly meticulous about his operational security. He was better at hiding his tracks. His phone was not captured by the AT&T towers

Judge Mehta: There's evidence about meetings and organizing, my question is does the US have evidence to planning prior to January 6 regarding an incursion of the Capitol building?

AUSA: I'm not prepared to speak about evidence about an actual incursion AUSA: They were planning for eventualities. It may not have been as specific as an incursion of the Capitol that the Oath Keepers were prepared to do on January 6. They were communicating with the person in Virginia by Signal. Hackett has ammo in his attic

 AUSA: The alarms are blaring, there is tear gas, Mr. Hackett is in the first wave. He was only inside for 12 minutes, but that's not the point - it's his intent.

 AUSA: He has been radicalized. Has he forgone that? We don't know. He was living with his wife and daughter when he did this. Hackett's lawyer: I wish I had more opportunity to meet with my client. As an officer of the court, it seems to me that things have changed

 Hackett's lawyer: His wife wasn't thrilled with much of the content Mr. Hackett brought to the dinner table. We are proposing no access to the Internet.

Judge Mehta: Give me a couple minutes to collect my thoughts. I'll be back [to rule] Thread will continue.

 Judge Mehta is back. He says: This is a presumption case, he faces 10 years or more so the rebuttable presumption attaches. Let me to the brass tacks: the conduct here is more than troublesome.

Judge Mehta: He brought weapons to the border of DC for use, it's not clear to me what the trigger would have been, the pun intended... It was dangerous and cannot be minimized. Inside the Capitol building, you were with Meggs and Harrelson, two people I have held

 Judge Mehta: We are infer that Meggs and Harrelson were looking for Nancy Pelosi. That is troubling. Your counsel has done a good job trying to contextualize how you ended up there. An honest member of the community with an 11 year old daughter, it's mystifying

 Judge Mehta: I've tried to develop a consistent approach to these detention hearings, I've lost count how many I've done in this case. I took to leadership, in the lead-up and the day off, actual destruction and threats particularly to law makers

Judge Mehta: Compared to Mr. Meggs and Mr. Harrelson, Mr Hackett resembles them in certain respects. He brought guns, he joined them in the Capitol. He went to the Speaker's office. That favors detention

Judge Mehta: That said, I think Mr Hackett is differently situated. He is not at the top of the pyramid like Mr. Meggs, or a rung people like Harrelson who spoke with Person-1, the leader of the Oath Keepers, after January 6

Judge Mehta: The Circuit has recognized that leadership is a key to detention. Here, it's not to the same degree as Mr. Meggs or Mr. Harrelson. On Jan 6 Mr. Hackett seems to have been a follower. Judge Mehta: We have clear communications from Mr. Meggs that he was looking for the Speaker. Mr. Hackett didn't say that, even if he may have thought it. It's just an inference. Finally, unlike Mr. Harrelson who had a To-Go bag and a book how to live off the grid

 Judge Mehta: Mr Harrelson's wife gave potentially misleading testimony about the gun found in the house. That evidence is not here. US has cited the Circuit's recent cases, all of which are unpublished but I review all of them. Kater involved assaultive behavior

 Judge Mehta: It's now August 23, we're 7 months removed, the US has no evidence of continued involvement with the Oath Keepers by Mr. Hackett in this time. So, I am going to grant the motion to release him.

 AUSA: Mr. Hackett's wife hosts a political podcast concerning the events of January 6. You should tell Mr. Hackett not to participate. Judge Mehta: It would have been good to know that before I released him into the home. Do not participate in her podcast

Hackett: I think she would stop that... Judge Mehta: It's her First Amendment rights. But don't participate and don't use a phone, other than a landline. We are adjourned.

On Kenneth Harrelson on August 5, Inner City Press filed a letter and motion with Judge Mehta, on its DocumentCloud here.

On August 16, this: "Judge Mehta is in receipt of your email requesting access to the videos filed in United States v. Harrelson, No. 21-cr-28-10.  Under Standing Order No. 21-28, in order for the court to grant Inner City Press access to the videos filed in Mr. Harrelson’s case, you will need to file an application for access pursuant to D.D.C. Local Criminal Rule 57.6."

That rule provides: "Any news organization or other interested person, other than a party or a subpoenaed witness, who seeks relief relating to any aspect of proceedings in a criminal case... shall file an application for such relief with the Court. The application shall include a statement of the applicant's interest in the matter as to which relief is sought, a statement of facts, and a specific prayer for relief."

So, citing the Rule, Inner City Press filed another letter, one page, docketed here

Podcast here.  And Podcast II of August 19 here.

Now on August 19, it's been granted (shouldn't have been necessary): "MINUTE ORDER as to KENNETH HARRELSON (10) granting Inner City Press's 343 Application for Access to Video Exhibits. The United States shall make available to Inner City Press the video exhibits entered into evidence during the detention hearing of KENNETH HARRELSON (10), consistent with the procedures set forth in Standing Order 21-28. Inner City Press is granted permission to record, copy, download, retransmit, and otherwise further publish these video exhibits. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 8/19/2021."

So now, immediately, put on Inner City Press' YouTube, video here

Similarly, Inner City Press asked DOJ and then Judge Timothy Kelly for access to the videos that DOJ had shown to the court in the case: judicial documents that, under case law, must be made available to the public. But it was denied access, on the theory that Judge Kelly's order earlier in the month limited access to these judicial documents to a particular sub-set of the public.

 Inner City Press on July 27 wrote to Judge Kelly, including in the form of a motion, now on DocumentCloud, here. By noon the next day, July 28, nothing - no responses, no response. We'll have more on this. For now, podcast here; music video here.

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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