Judge grants Jan. 6 prisoner release despite DOJ warnings he posed ‘heightened danger’ in an election year

by | Mar 28, 2024

A Washington, D.C. District Judge has granted a request by a Jan. 6 riot defendant to be released from prison pending his appeal.

This decision directly contradicted Justice Department prosecutors' assertions that Kevin Seefried posed a heightened danger, particularly during an election year.

In his 11-page order, Judge McFadden, appointed by President Trump, stated that prosecutors had failed to demonstrate that Seefried posed a threat or that events leading to the riot were likely to happen again.

Judge McFadden's decision swiftly dismissed the allegations made by U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, who argued on January 8 that granting Seefried's request for release would mean releasing him into the same political environment that motivated his crimes initially.

Judge McFadden countered on Wednesday by stating that the law requires Seefried's release because he met two crucial criteria: demonstrating that he is unlikely to flee or pose a danger to the community if released, and that the government failed to prove he is likely to reoffend.

The judge criticized the Justice Department for what he called a “fact-free approach” to reviewing Seefried's request and accused the government of adopting a “class-based” approach.

The judge said that the date of his release would be one year from the date he surrendered to the Bureau of Prisons, which was May 31, 2023.

Kevin Seefried was sentenced to three years in prison in February after being convicted on charges of obstructing an official proceeding and four misdemeanors related to trespassing and disorderly conduct. These charges collectively carry a potential maximum sentence of 23 years in prison.

Seefried appealed his conviction and requested release from prison pending appeal. His request came shortly before the Supreme Court decided to review a case known as Fischer v. United States, which challenges the application of the obstruction statute 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) to numerous Jan. 6 defendants facing charges related to it.

With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Fischer case and scheduling oral arguments for April 16, the judge noted that Seefried's issue was “alive again.” Depending on the Supreme Court's ruling in the Fischer case, Seefried's felony conviction could potentially be vacated.

Read the order from the judge here.

Source: The Washington Examiner



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