Trump Rioter Ordered To Remain Jailed For Beating Capitol Officers

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Federal Judge Trevor McFadden has ordered Virginia resident and Capitol rioter Geoffrey William Sills to remain in jail ahead of his trial, rejecting a request from the defendant for his release. At the Capitol, Sills fired up a strobe light in an attempt to disorient officers who were attempting to defend the complex, and he also stole a baton from an officer before apparently using it against both that individual and other law enforcement personnel. Sills is a co-defendant in a case that also features ex-Trump State Department staffer Federico Klein, among others. Law & Crime says Sills’s side “argued that he wasn’t a danger to the community and that other defendants engaged in more dangerous conduct on Jan 6 had been released from jail pending trial,” but McFadden disagreed.

Sills’s attorney John Kiyonaga insisted that at “face value, the allegations against Mr. Sills do not place him in the small subset of Jan. 6 participants that this court and this circuit deem appropriate for pretrial confinement” — although it’s allegations of physical assaults and threats that have been among the charges repeatedly connecting to pretrial detention. McFadden concluded that prosecutors had effectively demonstrated that “no condition or combination of conditions” would guarantee the safety of the community in the event of Sills’s release from custody. As McFadden put it, Sills “apparently came with a gas mask, tactical gloves, [and] a strobe light,” adding: “He says he did this because he was afraid of Antifa or what have you. Maybe that’s true, but at this point I can take this as evidence of planning, and certainly evidence that this is not someone who is just coming for a political rally but expects to get into a violent confrontation, and that’s exactly what he did.”

McFadden also observed that the “fact that [Sills] disarmed a police officer, stealing his baton and using it to assault that officer and other officers also [weighs] heavily for the defendant’s dangerousness and the need for him to be detained.” Hundreds of those who have been charged for their parts in the attack on the Capitol have been specifically alleged to have assaulted police in some form — and these hundreds of physical assaults haven’t been enough to sway ex-President Trump and certain allies of his from their attempts to gloss over the reality of what happened. Just to be clear, it goes all the way back to the day of the riot itself, when Trump said that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election is stolen, attempting to justify what unfolded.

Recently, Trump repeatedly touted his inclination towards issuing pardons for rioters in the event that he wins the presidency again. He claimed in a Newsmax interview that “some of these people are not guilty, many of these people are not guilty” — although many of their crimes were literally captured on camera. Trump’s comments to that effect indicate a willingness on his part to dismiss what happened to the point of denying the documented reality, and his comments could provide incentives to individuals like Sills to reject plea offers from the government in hopes of a future pardon. Sills and five of his co-defendants have rejected plea offers from the government.