The federal judge overseeing the Proud Boys seditious-conspiracy trial in Washington on April 16 systematically shut down one defendant’s calls for a mistrial and his explosive allegations of evidence tampering, withholding of exculpatory evidence, and government misconduct.
In a 10-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected requests from defendant Dominic Pezzola for a mistrial or dismissal of charges.
Kelly called Pezzola’s conclusions “bizarre” and said they “lack legal and factual support.”
Pezzola claimed he was deprived of exculpatory evidence from video footage aired in March on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Drawn from 41,000 hours of security video from the U.S. Capitol, the Fox broadcasts claimed that a defendant, known as the QAnon Shaman, was escorted around the building by police on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Pezzola identifies footage—of other people—treating the Capitol ‘respectfully’ after entering it,” Kelly wrote.
“He concludes ‘that the Senate chamber was never violently breached’ and that there is no ‘evidence of any raucous or extremely disruptive or violent demonstration in the Senate chamber.’
“But Pezzola has not shown how any of this relates to an element of an offense with which he is charged—or how it relates to him at all,” the judge wrote. “Thus, it does not tend to show his ‘freedom from fault, guilt or blame.’”
Kelly wrote that Pezzola was sent a majority of the video he identifies in September 2021 and the balance in January 2023.
Pezzola is one of five defendants charged with seditious conspiracy to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He is on trial for 10 alleged offenses, including using a riot shield to smash Capitol windows.
Other defendants in the case are Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, and Joseph Biggs. The trial began in December and could move to closing arguments the week of April 17–21.
Kelly ruled that Pezzola has no standing to bring up allegations that the government monitored privileged communications between defendant Rehl and his former attorney.
“Any strategy the government might have gleaned from the messages long predated Pezzola’s joinder in the case and so cannot have involved him,” Kelly wrote. “And the Court has reviewed the messages; unsurprisingly, none reference Pezzola.”
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