Douglas Jensen, a member of the Trump-incited mob that stormed the Capitol last year, was unsuccessful in a recent attempt to get his upcoming trial delayed to next year.
Federal Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, denied the request. During the Capitol chaos, Jensen was among the rioters who infamously confronted U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who led a portion of the crowd away from the Senate chamber where members of that legislative body were still sheltering as members of the mob first began streaming into the building. Jensen wanted his trial moved to February of next year, citing ostensible concerns including publicity associated with the work of the House committee investigating January 6, but Kelly said the jury selection process would provide an appropriate opportunity to examine any potential prejudice among possible jury members.
Jensen’s request for moving the date of his trial also cited the upcoming midterm elections and the expected release of a final report from the riot panel summarizing its findings. “For one, the only source of potential prejudice to Defendant’s right to an impartial jury in September that he identifies is the Select Committee’s hearings, because the trial will be completed well before the mid-term elections and the release of the Select Committee’s report,” Kelly wrote. “And as for the potential prejudice to Defendant flowing from the hearings, if such prejudice in fact exists—a dubious proposition given Defendant’s non-specific assertions on this point—and means that “an impartial jury actually cannot be selected, that fact should become evident at the voir dire.”” Jensen’s trial is scheduled to begin on September 19.
The request to delay the trial contained an alternative proposed delay of just two days because of a “potential scheduling conflict” with another trial on the part of Jensen’s lawyer, as the judge recapped the issue. Kelly didn’t offer a final ruling on that alternative request; instead, he pushed discussions of it to an August 26, 2022 pretrial conference and motions hearing. At this stage, every single jury trial for a Capitol rioter that’s so far taken place ended with convictions on all counts. Jensen appears to presently face serious charges like civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, which come with lengthy potential prison sentences if found guilty. Jensen was carrying a pocketknife while participating in last year’s mob attack, and he wore a distinctive shirt with imagery associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory. He was eventually at the front of the portion of the mob that chased Goodman up a series of stairs near the Senate chamber.
In another riot-related criminal matter, federal Judge Amit Mehta denied a recent push by most of the Oath Keepers-tied individuals involved in a seditious conspiracy case to move their trial from its scheduled start in late September. In that instance, the defendants’ side also pointed to purported issues including publicity associated with the riot panel. It’s an argument that Trump goon Steve Bannon also unsuccessfully used in recently trying to get his now concluded contempt of Congress trial pushed back.