The release of new tapes from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show could create a major legal headache for the Department of Justice’s handling of cases against hundreds of defendants, according to legal experts.
A lawyer representing one of five Proud Boys members on trial for seditious conspiracy referenced Carlson’s showcase on Thursday, saying the tapes offered to the commentator by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) prove federal prosecutors hid “plainly exculpatory” Capitol security footage.
The court filing is the latest of several requests for a mistrial from attorneys representing the five Proud Boys, who have repeatedly accused the government of wrongdoing. All their previous requests have been denied by U. S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of former President Donald Trump.
One of the nation’s leading defense attorneys, Harvey Silverglate of Boston, told the Washington Examiner that Carlson’s footage appearing to show U. S. Capitol Police escorting the infamous “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley could be a foreshadowing of an appeal to vacate his guilty plea, which through bargaining was chiseled down to a single count of obstruction of an official proceeding, landing him 41 months in prison.
“Virtually every moment of his time inside the Capitol was caught on tape,” Carlson said on Monday. “The tapes show the Capitol Police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his tour guides.”
Silverglate, a criminal defense and civil liberties attorney representing onetime Trump attorney John Eastman, said, “I think that he can get his guilty plea vacated,” referring to Chansley, who has yet to file an appeal or request a retrial.
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