Lawyers for Oath Keepers founder to seek his release because the government waited too long to arrest him
Attorneys for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes are expected in court on Monday, seeking to get their client released pending his trial for seditious conspiracy related to the Jan 6th insurrection.
With prosecutors laying out the case that he should remain in jail after reportedly spending "over $22,000 on firearms and 'firearms-related equipment' in the week before Jan. 6," they maintain that he is both a flight risk and worry he will destroy additional evidence about his group's efforts to keep Donald Trump in office after losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
In a motion filed last week, federal prosecutors maintained: "Rhodes spearheaded a conspiracy to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power in the United States, " adding, "Rhodes stood at the center of the seditious conspiracy—orchestrating plans to use force, recruiting and financing co-conspirators, purchasing weaponry and tactical gear, inciting support and action, and endeavoring to conceal his and other co-conspirators’ crimes.”
Countering that, Politico's Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney wrote that Rhodes' attorneys are expected to make the case that, if Rhodes was a risk, the government wouldn't have waited a year to take him into custody.
"The yearlong delay in arresting and charging Rhodes may be a point of contention at Monday’s court hearing on whether he should be detained pending trial," the Politico report states. "While prosecutors contend Rhodes is too dangerous to be released, Rhodes’ attorneys — Phillip Linder and James Lee Bright — are expected to argue that the authorities have undermined their argument by letting Rhodes remain free for a year despite the clear signs of his involvement in the events of last January and the fact that Rhodes' whereabouts since that time have been well known."
Additionally, the militia leader's attorney will also contend that their client did not participate in the actual riot and that his words exhorting his followers "were protected speech and that despite his alleged leadership of the conspiracy, he ultimately never gave an order to deploy the so-called armed quick reaction force stationed at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Va., to deploy to the Capitol."
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On Monday, CNN reported that former President Donald Trump's team is not going to use Trump's own wealth to cover the legal expenses of aides caught up in the January 6 Capitol attack investigation — but a prominent right-wing lobbyist is planning to do so, and the former president is coordinating the effort.
"While declining to use his own war chest to cover the sky-high legal bills that some of his current and former aides are facing, Trump's team has instead been working with American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp to determine which individuals subpoenaed by the select committee should receive help from Schlapp's 'First Amendment Fund,' which is run by the ACU's nonprofit arm," reported Gabby Orr and Annie Grayer.
Schlapp is best known for overseeing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a gathering of GOP officials and far-right activists from around the country.
"Schlapp told CNN that he is 'in communication with [Trump's] team' about who can and cannot take advantage of the legal fund, which he said has raised 'over seven figures' from donors. While Schlapp has not yet rejected any requests, he acknowledged that there will likely come a point where he 'will have to make choices on who to fund.'"
Furthermore, Schlapp said he will prioritize giving legal aid those who are not cooperating with the House January 6 Committee over those who are: "We are certainly not going to assist anyone who agrees with the mission of the committee and is aiding and abetting the committee," said Schlapp said. He added that his fund reserves 'the right to make decisions over whether someone gets assistance or doesn't ... I am in communication with [Trump's] team about those decisions."
Trump is infamous for keeping a tight purse with regards to legal fees. He reportedly refused to even pay Rudy Giuliani for his legal work trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
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Jury selection commences today for a defamation suit against right-wing extremist Roy Moore over his verbal attacks on a woman who had accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 14.
Leigh Corfman had told the Washington Post in November 2017 that Moore -- then a candidate in an Alabama special election for U.S. Senate -- had molested her when she was a high school freshman and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. The scandal was widely credited for his stunning upset defeat a month later by Democratic former Sen. Doug Jones.
But the current trial is not about her allegations then, focusing instead on what Moore said about Corfman after she went public. Here’s how it was reported at Al.com:
“Since November 2017,” the first paragraph of the lawsuit said, “Defendants Roy Moore and his campaign committee, Judge Roy Moore for U.S. Senate, have defamed Ms. Corfman, repeatedly and in all forms of media, calling her a liar and questioning her motivation for publicly disclosing that Mr. Moore sexually abused her in 1979 when she was a 14-year-old high school freshman and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.”
Moore has filed a countersuit charging Corfman with making “false and malicious” claims. It will be heard at the same time as Corfman’s suit against him, Al.com reported. Both suits are seeking unspecified financial damages.
The campaign committee has been dismissed as a defendant and Circuit Judge John Rochester, who is presiding in the case, in August rules that Corfman was a limited-purpose public figure when she filed her suit, a designation that raises her burden to prove defamation.
Here’s more from Al.com:
“Corfman told The Post and repeated in her lawsuit that she first met Moore at the Etowah County Courthouse in Gadsden in February 1979 when she and her mother attended a child custody hearing. Corfman was 14 and a high school freshman at the time.
“Moore offered to sit with Corfman while her mother attended the hearing, the lawsuit said, and their conversation ended with Moore asking Corfman for her phone number. Soon after, the lawsuit said, Moore called Corfman to arrange a meeting.
“The lawsuit said they eventually met twice with Moore picking Corfman up near her home on both occasions and driving to Moore’s home. At the second meeting, the lawsuit said, “Mr. Moore sexually abused Ms. Corfman. He provided Ms. Corfman with alcohol, flattered her, laid blankets and pillows on the floor, and took off her and his outer clothing. Wearing only undershorts, Mr. Moore touched Ms. Corfman’s private parts through her bra and underpants and guided her hand to touch his penis. Ms. Corfman resisted Mr. Moore and asked him to take her home.”
“In his countersuit, Moore said various polls had him leading the race over Jones by about 11 points.
“The statements made by Leigh Corfman were slanderous, libelous and were of such magnitude as to amount to defamation of Mr. Moore,” his countersuit said. “No evidence other than the self-serving testimony of Leigh Corfman exists to support her contention that she was sexually abused or pursued romantically by Mr. Moore when she was fourteen years of age.”
“Three weeks after Corfman’s allegations in The Washington Post, she released an open letter addressed to Moore the day after Moore said during a campaign speech that he did not know any of women who had made accusations of unwanted romantic advances against him.
“I demand that you stop calling me a liar and attacking my character,” Corfman’s letter of Nov. 28, 2017, said. “Your smears and false denials, and those of others who repeat and embellish them, are defamatory and damaging to me and my family.”
The trial could last as long as two weeks, with more than 50 individuals listed on the witness list, Al.com reported.