The Coming ‘January 6’ Train Wreck, by James Bovard

The problem for the January 6 protest prosecutors is that legally, there just isn’t much “there” there. From James Bovard at jimbovard.com:

With the DOJ’s first sentencing, the legal realities are disappointing the left’s lust for blood.

The January 6 Capitol clash may be the gift that keeps on giving to cynics everywhere. In the coming months, Americans will likely see jaw-dropping bureaucratic debacles, stunning abuses by federal prosecutors, and appalling bloodlust by angry Biden supporters. Perhaps the least likely outcome is that the coming train wreck will restore faith in American democracy.

The Justice Department declared last week, “The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Breach will be the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence.” The feds are sorting through “237,000 digital tips, 1 million Parler videos and images comprising 40 terabytes of data scraped from the Internet — roughly equivalent to 10 million photos, 20,000 hours of video, or 50,000 filing cabinets of paper documents,” theWashington Post reported. Investigators are also sorting through “cell tower data for thousands of electronic devices that connected to the Capitol’s interior distributed antenna system,” information provided by phone companies, Google, and other data aggregation companies. The problem will be compounded because many government employees are slow readers.

More than 500 protestors have already been charged in federal court, but their trials will likely be delayed at least until next year. Federal judge John Bates recently warned that evidence snafus could result in judges “going on the warpath.” If judges conclude that the Justice Department is unreasonably keeping January 6 defendants locked up (often in solitary confinement) too long, judicial edicts could unravel prosecutors’ long-term plans.  

Federal cases against January 6 protestors are being built on what one savvy electronic evidence consultant called a “Tower of Babel nightmare.” While federal agents gloated at the 300,000 plus tips that poured into the FBI with regards to January 6 protestors, prosecutors are obliged to sift the hairballs and provide each defendant and their lawyers with potentially exculpatory evidence.  The biggest data dump on record will likely spur a deluge of inadvertent or intentional withholding of evidence. The Justice Department recently notified defense lawyers that they would have to “build a system to receive the data” the feds delivered. The prosecution is also whining because a federal judge prevented them from relying on a private contractor to organize secret grand jury evidence.

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