Justice Dept Directly Ties Cop-Attacking Rioter To Trump’s Jan. 6 Rally

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Notably, a new press release recapping the criminal case of Virginia man Jonathan G. Mellis directly links the man — a now sentenced participant in the Capitol violence of January 6, 2021 — to the Trump-centered rally held that very day in Washington, D.C. In his speech at the event, Trump encouraged direct action around the supposedly fraudulent presidential election outcome.

“According to court documents, Mellis traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally, which was organized to protest the result of the presidential election. As the rally was finishing, Mellis joined a large crowd that marched to the Capitol,” the press release says. (Mellis was sentenced to over four years in prison on a charge of assaulting police, assaults he perpetrated with what was termed a large stick.)

While such connections between individual rioters and the Trump event have been made previously, this is notably direct language. In the criminal case related to circumstances surrounding that day facing former President Donald Trump himself, prosecutors — led by Special Counsel Jack Smith — intend to draw such connections at trial. In a court filing, the prosecution team outlined anticipated expert testimony that would make such links.

“His/her testimony will describe and explain the resulting graphical representations of that data, and it will aid the jury in understanding the movements of individuals toward the Capitol area during and after the defendant’s speech at the Ellipse,” the federal team said of this individual, who they did not identify by name in the publicly available version of the filing.

The same filing also indicated that the prosecution intended to use data drawn from the cellphone in use by Trump himself when he was in office, pointing to details as granular as exactly when the app for Twitter (now X) was open on the device. Smith’s team didn’t go into extensive detail regarding their plans for the connections they’d make from such data, but the timeline could perhaps show opportunities when Trump could have spoken out (online) against the riot but didn’t do so or points at which he was made aware through internet means of what was transpiring nearby.