January 6 Prosecutors’ Claims Are Crumbling

The claims by the Department of Justice about the presence of Vice President Mike Pence and then-Senator Kamala Harris at the Capitol Building during the January 6, 2021, protests appear to be false.

An important part of the questionable charges filed against many of the supporters of President Donald Trump involves the risks presented to various officers present at the Capitol at the time of the disturbance. And the DOJ has claimed that Pence and Harris were inside the Capitol.

A mother of one of the persons charged with a felony after the events of January 6 has pointed out defects with the DOJ claim. She noted that her son is one of more than 100 defendants charged with a serious felony carrying a potential 20-year sentence in federal prison.

She points out that the statute setting out the crime they’re being charged with depends on a congressional session being in progress at the time of the alleged violation. The mother says that is not true and it also appears that Harris and Pence were not at the Capitol, even though their alleged presence is key to the charges that have been filed.

It appears that both Harris and Pence had been evacuated from the Capitol premises as a result of alleged pipe bombs found at DNC and RNC offices. Both were apparently nowhere near the Capitol by no later than 1:40 p.m. EST on the afternoon of the 6th.

Politico reported last Friday that some of the charges against the January 6 defendants claim incorrectly that Harris, who was being protected by Secret Service agents, was at the Capitol during the incursion into the building. The report also stated that Harris was several blocks away at the DNC offices when the protestors entered the Capitol. According to the outlet, DOJ prosecutors have attempted to subsequently alter the allegations in their charges to reflect the true situation with Harris and Pence.

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden is presiding over one of the trials of the January 6 defendants and has ordered that Secret Service witnesses can be questioned at trial about Pence’s location at different times during that day.

McFadden wrote in his order that prosecutors have not explained how they got “such a basic fact so wrong for so long.” He said that he could only conclude that prosecutors had relied on the information provided by the Secret Service and he is therefore going to allow questions to be asked about that evidence.

Because of the level of specificity required by the statute used to charge many of the January 6 defendants, a misrepresentation of material facts about the whereabouts of Harris and Pence could prove disastrous for prosecutors in a large number of the cases. And there seems to be good reason for this; some would construe all of this to mean that hundreds of political opponents were arrested on blatantly false charges — but we won’t make any such assertions here.