When defense attorneys arrived in DC District Court Tuesday morning, the prosecution suddenly provided 4 terabytes of new information for them to review at the spur of the moment.
This could contain potentially exonerating evidence or just random documents to waste the defense’s time. Either way, it takes manpower and coordination to investigate and share these materials with jailed defendants in substandard conditions.
Judge Amit Mehta insisted on advancing the case, regardless of the time needed to sort through this.
Today the defense petitioned the jury to show 40 minutes of video footage depicting defendant Stewart Rhodes. Judge Mehta balked at the idea and insisted a 3-minute snippet be shown instead.
Mehta said showing the full video would take “too much time,” even if it follows the legal doctrine of completeness to establish full context.
Prosecutors admitted they did not properly sort through communications distinguishing between defendant Kelly Meggs and recently indicted Oathkeepers attorney Kellye Sorrelle.
It also failed to identify which communications between Sorrelle and Rhodes were privileged.
Prosecutors looked overwhelmed after hearing the judge’s instructions to re-sort through 4,000 messages in the midst of a trial.
Attorney Juli Haller (representing Kelly Meggs) poked holes in the government’s testimony after FBI Special Agent Byron Cody admitted deleted messages appear in Greenwich Mean Time, instead of in the messenger’s original time zone.
Cody said extracted messages can therefore appear out of place and difficult to piece together. This is an ongoing issue brought up in the first J6 trial of Guy Reffitt as well as in Jan. 6 Committee exhibits.
Another FBI Special Agent-Justin Eller-admitted he did not see anything illegal in the Oathkeepers communications before Jan. 6.
The group’s plans centered around countering Antifa in individual marches-not overthrowing the government.
When cross-examined by Haller, Special Agent Eller admitted he did not use the search feature in the pdf of chat transcripts to find defendant Kenneth Harrelson. Harrelson did not participate in the chats or GotoMeeting in question, yet is still charged by the DOJ with seditious conspiracy.
“This is just a vicious cycle,” said one courtroom observer.
“They’re investigating the narrative and don’t want to talk about actual events.”
Keep in mind in the United States, all of a defendant’s constitutional rights must be met to take the case to trial. The government cannot amend evidence and may postpone a trial for years-if necessary-until it has proper evidence to move forward.
Is it possible defendants’ misdemeanor trespassing charges are now grossly exaggerated? Is the judge allowing prosecutors’ broad theories to have an easy pass instead of looking at the complete evidence?