Jan. 6 Rioter Jailed After Loaded Shotgun, Sword, & Body Armor Found

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Pennsylvania man and Capitol rioter Barton Shively has been ordered to jail after he (among other troubling acts) reached for a loaded shotgun during an unannounced visit to his home by probation officers on May 4. Shively’s attempt to grab the firearm prompted one officer to draw his weapon — in other words, it was evidently a serious incident rather than something incidental.

During the home visit, officers also discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a sword, and camouflage body armor. Terms of Shively’s pre-trial release specified that he wasn’t permitted to “possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon.” Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly concluded in her order revoking Shively’s release that the Pennsylvania man “displayed an alarming lack of candor” with probation officers and other personnel involved in his pre-trial release. After the consequential visit to Shively’s home by probation officers, a hearing was promptly scheduled for May 9, which is the same day Kollar-Kotelly reached her conclusion to send Shively into custody.

According to the judge, the “Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant has violated a condition of his release, that there is no condition or combination of conditions that will assure that Defendant will not pose a danger to the safety of the community, and that Defendant is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release.”

Shively — who’s a former Marine — was originally charged with offenses including assaulting law enforcement over multiple instances on January 6 when he made physical contact with officers. In one example, he evidently grabbed an officer by the jacket, and he apparently shoved another. According to a court filing, Shively claimed to have merely gotten “caught up in the moment” — but that description of his journey to the Capitol doesn’t capture the full reality. Getting caught up in the moment is the sort of description one might use for making an unplanned purchase at a grocery or department store. It seems less well-applied to physically assaulting police officers amid an assault on the U.S. Capitol meant to stop the peaceful transition of presidential power.

So far, four rioters have gone to trial-by-jury, and all four of these trials have ended with convictions on all counts. Among the arguments juries have rejected are self-defense (for a charge of assaulting law enforcement) and that Trump should be held responsible for one of the defendant’s actions. Additionally, three members of the violent, far-right group known as the Oath Keepers have now pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in connection to the Capitol violence. In connection to the most recent plea, it’s been revealed that group leader Stewart Rhodes allegedly called someone close to Trump to push for the then-president to use the Oath Keepers to help secure another term in office. Oath Keepers prepared for the possibility of Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, which lets presidents summon militias — a role they were apparently prepared to fulfill for Trump.