Roberto Minuta is facing “seditious conspiracy” charges in a January 6th case – and five felony charges altogether.
The “seditious conspiracy” charge carries up to 20 years.
What did Roberto Minuta do?
According to prosecutors, Minuta and other Oath Keepers got into golf carts and raced toward the US Capitol when they found out people had entered the Capitol. on January 6th.
A Newburgh tattoo shop owner charged with the most serious crime stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is set to stand trial starting on Tuesday along with fellow members of the Oath Keepers militia.
Roberto Minuta, a 38-year-old Orange County native, is one of four Oath Keepers set to be tried for seditious conspiracy and other offenses for their alleged roles in the Capitol attack. An earlier trial for five other Oath Keepers − including Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder − ended Wednesday with a jury finding Rhodes and one co-defendant guilty of seditious conspiracy and convicting all five of at least two felonies.
After his arrest, prosecutors alleged that Minuta and other Oath Keepers had commandeered two golf carts and raced across Washington, D.C., to join the action after learning that Trump supporters had surged into the Capitol. Minuta urged on his cohorts by radio as they wove through traffic and passed police cars, according to a recording cited in the court papers.
Former Federal prosecutor Bill Shipley is representing Roberto Minuta — and said Minuta was merely providing unarmed security that day.
Roberto Minuta, indicted as a member of the Oath Keepers organization, is set to begin trial with three co-defendants on December 5, 2022.
Minuta was born and raised in upstate New York, but has relocated his family to Texas to avoid a variety of governmental mandates that he did not agree with.
Roberto traveled to Washington DC late in the evening of Jan. 5, 2021 — after having spent the prior week in Texas looking for a new house — for the purpose of being a member of a personal security detail, as he had done in the past. He had no firearm and only arrived at the Capitol after hundreds — maybe thousands — of protesters had already gone inside.
He did so only at the express direction of a USCP officer, as the evidence at trial will show.
The trial estimate for the second Oath Keeper trial is 4-5 weeks. The first Oath Keeper trial lasted 9 weeks after it was predicted to take only 5 weeks.
Today, Shipley gave an update on the case.
Heading to the District Court in the District of Columbia to begin jury selection in the second Oath Keeper trial. I represent Roberto Minuta.
The first trial ended last week with 11 “not guilty” verdicts out of 28 counts, including 3 of 5 “not guilty” on seditious conspiracy.
I’m hoping for a better outcome sometime in January when we wrap up the second trial, but the outcome of the first trial is certainly encouraging since 12 citizens voted 12-0 that the Gov’t “seditious conspiracy” charge was a factual mess.
But Roberto faces some other counts as well — counts on which others were convicted last week. Without commenting on those, I’ll just say that I’m confident the testimony in Roberto’s case will deal with each of the remaining charges in a manner that leads me to be optimistic.
But this is an expensive undertaking. I am not appointed counsel with the costs and expenses being paid by the Court as is the case for indigent defendants. Roberto had some assets he could use for his defense, but those are long since exhausted in the case preparation.
There are no new sources of funding for the next six weeks of time and expense of going through trial. I have been the recipient of much generosity so far, with those funds contributing to my ability to defend the 20+ January 6 clients that I represent.
One particular individual has given me housing for the first half of the trial — a place very close to the courthouse which makes commuting very easy. I settled in late last week and have been working on the trial prep ever since.
Hopefully all that work begins to pay off for Roberto, Gisella, and their two kids starting later this morning.
As has been true for a few months, the way I keep all these balls in the air is with financial support from those who want J6 defendants have competent defense.
So, if you are able and willing you can help continue to fund my ability to represent J6 defendants who have given all they have to give in defending themselves — but for whom more is needed. November was a great month in that respect, but expenses continue every month.
Due to the support from donors, he is looking to bring on more federal prosecutors to help defend more Jan 6th defendants.