Jan 6 Rioter Ordered To Remain In Jail After Buying Weapons

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On Saturday, NBC4 reporter Scott MacFarlane reported that a D.C. judge had rejected a request to consider releasing Capitol rioter Thomas Robertson from custody ahead of his trial. Robertson was initially released from custody as he awaited trial on riot-related charges, but he was re-arrested after authorities uncovered that he’d ordered almost three-dozen firearms online. As Robertson was charged with a felony at the time, his purchases violated the law.

As reported by NBC, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper “said… that the law also makes it a crime for someone charged with a felony to ship firearms,” and prior court decisions “have established that a person who causes a gun to be shipped is as legally responsible as someone who does the actual shipping,” as the same report summarizes. Thus, the fact that Robertson never actually took the guns into his possession didn’t matter.

Robertson is a former police officer in Rocky Mount, Virginia. At the time of the riot, he was employed in the role — but the department later fired him. Originally, Robertson’s lawyer defended the gun purchases by characterizing the weapons as almost all — although not entirely, apparently — World War II-era items, but such hasn’t been enough to keep Robertson out of jail. Critically, Cooper also noted that Robertson had been found to have “expressed pride in his role” in the Capitol violence, observing at the time (back in July) that the “undisputed facts demonstrate a concrete risk that Robertson might participate in or provide material support to acts of ideologically motivated violence if released at this time.”

Robertson is among a total of nearly 700 Trump supporters who have been arrested and charged for their roles in the violence at the Capitol. The House investigation into that violence turned a new corner this week after the Justice Department announced that former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon had been indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the panel running the House investigation. Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said regarding the indictment news that the charges “should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the Select Committee or try to stonewall our investigation: no one is above the law.”