On Tuesday, federal Judge Thomas Hogan denied bail to a pair of Trump-supporting participants in the January rioting at the U.S. Capitol who, while on the premises, assaulted police officers on the scene including Brian Sicknick, who died after the violence. The rioters in question deployed bear spray (a chemical irritant) against the officers. Many of the law enforcement personnel who responded to the violence at the Capitol that day suffered serious injuries.
The D.C. medical examiner’s office has formally concluded that natural causes were at fault for Sicknick’s death, and neither of the rioters who are now getting held in jail ahead of their trials are charged over his death. Instead, the Trump supporters — including Pennsylvania man Julian Khater and West Virginia resident George Tanios — have been charged over the assault that they perpetrated.
‘Both [Tanios and Khater’s] history and characteristics do not weigh in favor of detention, but they still committed this attack on uniformed police officers, and I don’t find a way around that.’
Letters from character witnesses for both men were submitted to the court saying that the writers’ believed that Tanios and Khater would not pose a danger to their communities if released, and Hogan said that the character testimony “makes it very difficult for the court to make this conclusion” — but the court reached the conclusion in favor of their continued pre-trial detention anyway. No matter any upstanding role that either man has in their home communities, the reality is that they violently assaulted police officers while participating in a violent storming of one of the main federal government buildings in the United States.
It’s unclear when a trial for Tanios and Khater might take place. The two men are among hundreds of Trump supporters who have been hit with federal criminal charges over their participation in the Capitol violence. Just in recent days, federal authorities arrested (and subsequently released ahead of further proceedings) a Central Florida man who had openly bragged on social media about his presence at the Capitol amidst the violence.