Here you can find selected documents related to the Jan. 6 criminal prosecutions. These documents are not meant to be exhaustive; rather, we highlight specific case filings that may be of interest to our readers. For a comprehensive overview of federal criminal cases and a repository of key documents from their dockets, see the Program on Extremism at George Washington University database here.
Table of Contents: Selected Cases
Guy Wesley Reffitt, first Capitol riot defendant convicted at trial, United States v. Guy Wesley Reffitt, 1:21-cr-00032-DLF
Enrique Tarrio and Other Alleged Proud Boys, United States v. Ethan Nordean, 21-cr-175 (TJK), USDC, DDC
Richard Barnett, photographed with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk, U.S. v. Richard Barnett, 1:21-cr-38
- Indictment of Peter Navarro
- Peter Navarro, a former senior advisor to former President Trump, was indicted for criminal contempt on June 2, 2022, for failing to respond to a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
- Peter Navarro's Motion to Compel Discovery
- On August 4, 2022, Navarro filed a broad discovery request seeking documents, inter alia, that might shed light on why the Department of Justice chose to prosecute him despite decades of internal DOJ memoranda to the effect that certain high-level White House advisors are entitled to broad testimonial immunity vis-a-vis Congressional subpoenas. It also seeks information on whether the current White House intervened to secure his prosecution. In the course of the filing, however, Navarro also appears to admit that former President Trump never specifically instructed him to invoke testimonial privilege or even executive privilege with respect to the Select Committee's subpoena. He says Trump instructed him to invoke executive privilege with respect to an earlier subpoena he had received from the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in November 2021. He also admits that he confused the concepts of "executive privilege" and "testimonial immunity" because he was "a layman who at the time was not represented by counsel."
- Peter Navarro's Notice of Defenses of Entrapment and Public Authority
- On August 17, 2022, defendant Peter Navarro filed notice that, if his motion to dismiss is denied, he will seek to present an "entrapment by estoppel" and/or "public authority" defense to his prosecution for criminal contempt. He alleges that he reasonably believed that as a former senior presidential aide he enjoyed "absolute immunity" based on previous memoranda published by the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and based upon a public statement former President Trump had made in November 2021 relating to a different Congressional subpoena served upon Navarro by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
- Peter Navarro's Motion to Dismiss
- On August 17, 2022, Peter Navarro moved to dismiss the indictment charging him with two counts of criminal contempt for willful failure to respond to a subpoena served on him by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. He argues that he did not "wilfully" default because he "reasonably" believed he, as a former senior presidential advisor to former President Trump was absolutely immune from having to respond.
- Exhibit to Peter Navarro's Motion to Dismiss
- On August 17, 2022, Peter Navarro filed, as an exhibit to his motion to dismiss his indictment for criminal contempt of Congress, a complaint for declaratory judgment that the U.S. Department of Justice and then E.P.A. Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch filed in 1982 against the House of Representatives. In the complaint, the department argues that any attempt to apply the criminal contempt of Congress statute, 18 USC Section 192, to a senior White House advisor who has been instructed not to respond to a Congressional subpoena by the President would be unconstitutional.
- Second Exhibit to Peter Navarro's Motion to Dismiss
- On August 17, 2022, Peter Navarro filed a copy of a brief the Department of Justice filed in support of a summary judgment motion it filed in 1982 urging that, among other things, it would be unconstitutional to apply criminal contempt of Congress sanctions, under 18 USC Section 192, against a senior Presidential advisor who had been instructed by the President not to respond to a congressional subpoena.
- Government Opposition to Peter Navarro's Motion to Compel
- On August 15, in opposing a motion to compel additional discovery filed by defendant Peter Navarro in connection with his criminal contempt of Congress prosecution, the government shed glimpses of light on two issues of wide legal interest. First, with respect to why it indicted Navarro but not Mark Meadows or Dan Scavino, it wrote: "Meadows, unlike the Defendant, did produce records to the Committee. And, as is clear from the House reports reciting the facts of Meadows’s and Scavino’s failures to comply with their subpoenas, the circumstances of their communications with the Committee and refusals to comply were different in almost every way from the Defendant’s." Second, with respect to Navarro's claim that earlier internal Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memos furnished him with a reasonable basis to believe he was absolutely immune from responding to the Congressional subpoena, the government wrote: "There is no OLC opinion holding that former White House staff members can invoke executive privilege of their own accord. Nor is there one that holds that, even where a president invokes executive privilege in response to a congressional subpoena the summonsed witness can then withhold all responsive records, whether privileged or not. Nor is there an OLC opinion holding that a former White House staff member to a former President has absolute testimonial immunity when summonsed by Congress. Indeed, there is not even an OLC opinion holding that all current White House staff members have such immunity—OLC has only ever found such immunity to apply to a limited group of immediate advisers based on a fact-intensive review of those advisers’ roles."
- Indictment of Stephen K. Bannon
- On Nov. 12, 2021, a federal grand jury charged former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol's subpoena to produce selected documents and appear before the committee's investigators for a deposition on Oct. 14, 2021.
- Sentencing Memorandum
- On Oct. 17, the Justice Department reccomended that Bannon be sentenced to six months in prison and fined $200,000 for defying a subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
- Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant
- Indictment of Guy Reffitt
- Superseding Indictment
- Second Superseding Indictment
- Government's Sentencing Memorandum
- Superseding Indictment
- On June 6, a federal grand jury charged Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other members of the far-right group with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The new superseding indictment charges Tarrio—along with existing co-defendants Dominic Pezzola, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl—with one count of seditious conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties.
- Indictment of Enrique Tarrio
- In a superseding indictment, Tarrio was added to an earlier conspiracy indictment of four other Proud Boys, or whom the original top defendant was Ethan Nordean. Tarrio is charged with conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, as well as aiding and abetting six other substantive felonies, including corruptly obstructing an official proceeding; assaulting law enforcement officers; impeding officers during a civil disorder; and destruction of government property. Tarrio was not present at the riot on Jan. 6, because he had been arrested in D.C. on Jan. 4 for an earlier offense and left the city, under court order to do so, on Jan. 5. He is nevertheless charged with these offenses for having allegedly helped plan them and because he was allegedly in electronic contact with his codefendants during the attack. An additional Proud Boy, Dominic Pezzola—who had previously been charged in a different Proud Boy conspiracy indictment—has now been moved to this indictment, as a sixth co-conspirator. Pezzola alone is charged with robbery of federal property for allegedly wresting a riot shield from a US Capitol Police officer. Pezzola allegedly used the shield to break out the first window pane on the Western Terrace, allowing the first rioters to jump into the building.
- Joshua James's Signed Statement of Offense
- In connection with his guilty plea to seditious conspiracy of March 2, Oath Keeper Joshua James signed this 15-page description of his activities before, during and after Jan. 6. The statement reports, for instance, that during the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, Oath Keeper leader Stewart Rhodes "instructed James and other coconspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter and use lethal force if necessary . . . against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard or other government actors who might be sent to remove President Trump as a result of the Presidential election." The statement also describes several weeks James spent in Texas with Rhodes after Jan. 6, during which he says he helped Rhodes buy additional firearms and plot additional violence.
- Joshua James's Signed Plea Agreement
- Oath Keeper Joshua James pleaded guilty, in a document filed March 2, 2022, to charges of seditious conspiracy and corruptly obstructing an official proceeding. He agreed to provide full cooperation and accepted a computation of a sentencing guidelines range calling for 87 to 108 months. He also signed the 15-page Statement of Offense posted separately.
- The Justice Department charged Rhodes and other Oath Keepers with a variety of charges including seditious conspiracy, as well as muliple counts of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceedinng; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties; destruction of government property and aiding and abetting; civil disorder and aiding and abetting; assaulting, resisiting, or impeding certain officiers; and tampering with documents or proceedings.
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Memorandum Opinion
- Judge Mehta upholds seditious conspiracy charges for Oath Keepers.
- On Jan. 8, a grand jury indicted Stewart Rhodes, founder and leader of the far-right group Oath Keepers, in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Charges against him and 10 other alleged Oath Keeper members include seditious conspiracy for organizing the plot to attack the Capitol.
- Stewart Rhodes Government Detention Memorandum
- Government's Motion for a Protective Order Pertaining to the Trial Testimony of Confidential Human Sources
- On Sept. 21, the U.S. government submitted a motion for a protective order for FBI confidential human sources expected to testifty at the Oath Keepers trial. The Justice Department argued that the defense should not be permitted to ask questions seeking any personal idenfiying information about the confidential human sources, and should be prohibited from asking questions about the witnesses' participation in past or pending investigations or undercover operations, as well as questions about the FBI's confidential himan sources program and training and methods used by the FBI in undercover operations. The department argued that imposing these restrictions would ensure the integtrity of any ongoing FBI investigations as well as reduce any security threat posed to confidential human sources testifying in the trial.
- Oath Keepers' Response to the Government's Motion for a Protective Order
- In response to the government's motion for a protective order for FBI confidential human sources expected to testifty at the Oath Keepers trial, defendants Thomas Caldwell, Stewart Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson argued that they are entitled to "examine the totality of the [g]overnment's investigation and prosecution for purposes of undermining the jury’s confidence in the work done and the conclusions reached by the agents and prosecutors over the course of the past 20 months" as well as to establish the whether or not the"Rhodes Plan"—the "plan by which the Oath Keeper defendants are claimed to have organized themselves into a conspiracy to use force" to storm the U.S. Captiol to overturn the results of the 2020 election—exists, or the degree to which it was kept "so secret that even members of Oath Keeper leadership who interacted regularly with Defendant Rhodes and others alleged to have been involved were kept in the dark both before and after January 6."
- Kelly Meggs's Motion to Depose John L. Seimens
- Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs filed a motion to depose John L. Seimens, who in previous litigation documents had been described by Defendant Stewart Rhodes as a "key defnese witness" and the "most important organizer for many Oathkepper operations and events." In the filing, Meggs argued that Seimens testimony will corroborate the assertion that members of the Oath Keepers have provided "security services" at Trump rallies, as well as the Oath Keepers' rules of engagement, their vetting process, and their alleged policy to strictly obey state gun laws.
- Oath Keepers' Motion to Transfer Trial Venue
- Shortly before their trial start-date, Oath Keepers defendants Kelly Meggs, Stewart Rhodes, Jessica Watkins, Ken Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell moved to transfer the venue of their trial, citing alleged bias amon potential jurors. None of the jurors cited by the Oath Keepers were selected to participate in the trial. The defendents moved to transfer their trial to the Western or Eastern District of Vriginia to be tried by "an impartial jury."
- Superseding Indictment of Daniel Joseph Rodriguez
- Rodriguez, 38, is accused of, among other things, twice using a small stun gun, or taser, to deliver electroshocks to the neck of Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, who later lost consciousness and was admitted to the hospital. In this ten-count superseding indictment, he is charged with, inter alia, conspiracy; corruptly obstructing a Congressional proceeding; assaulting, impeding, and resisting a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon and inflicting bodily injury; obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder; tampering with documents; theft of government property; and destruction of government property. The superseding indictment alleges that Rodriguez conspired with Edward Badalian, 26, as well as with a third individual whose name is redacted. The government alleges that the conspirators, in anticipation of attending the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally, collected weapons and tactical gear, including a taser, pepper spray, a baseball bat, gas masks, and walkie talkies. On Jan. 6, they allegedly stormed past barriers; participated in violent confrontations with police officers near the tunnel of the Capitol's Lower West Terrace; entered the Capitol; stole "emergency escape hoods" from the building; and later attempted to destroy incriminating photos and videos made by a co-conspirator. On January 5, Rodriguez allegedly posted to a Telegram chat group, "Let there be blood. Welcome to the revolution." Between 2:40pm and 3:38pm on Jan. 6, Rodriguez allegedly participated, with other rioters, in the "heave-ho" effort to break through police lines at the tunnel on the Capitol's Lower West Terrace; threw a flagpole at officers in the tunnel; and discharged a fire extinguisher at them. At about 3:18pm, he allegedly "twice applied the small black electroshock weapon to the back of Officer M.F.'s neck." Later, at about 4pm, he allegedly posted in his telegram chat group: "Omg I did so much shit m and got away to tell you later" and "Tazzzzed the fuck out of the blue[.]"
- Transcript of Interrogation of Daniel Joseph Rodriguez of March 31, 2021
- In this interrogation, defendant Rodriguez confesses to tasing Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone. (See, for instance, pages 44-45, 70-82, 102, 120, 121, 174. (Rodriguez's counsel has moved to suppress the confession alleging that it was obtained in violation of his rights under the Fifth Amendment and Miranda v. Arizona.)
- Video of interrogation of Daniel Joseph Rodriguez (March 31, 2021)
- These videos show Rodriguez's confession to tasing Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone. Rodriguez has moved to suppress his statements. (These prosecution exhibits, displayed by ProPublica, were released to the public by court order obtained by the Press Coalition, a consortium of 16 media outlets.)
Jacob Chansley, also known as "Jacob Angeli" and more commonly known as the "QAnon Shaman," was indicted on six counts, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and several charges relating to his entry and conduct in the U.S. Capitol Building.
Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman, entered a guilty plea in September 2021. Chansley was among the first thirty rioters to enter the U.S. Capitol, wearing a viking hat, shirtless, covered in face paint and carrying a bullhorn and an American flag tied to a pole with a sharp object at the tip. Chansley admitted to the conduct set forth in a statement of the offense, including refusing to obey law enforcement officers' orders, using his bullhorn to "rile up the crowd and demand that lawmakers be brought out," scaling the Senate dais and writing a note stating "It's Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!" Chansley pleaded guilty to Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).
The Sixth Superseding Indictment charges 17 individuals in connection with the attack of January 6, 2021, including with conspiracy to interfere with the certification of the 2020 election. The indictment sets forth detailed allegations about the defendants' actions, which include coordinating with other members of the Oath Keepers and militia groups, bringing paramilitary gear and supplies such as firearms to Washington, D.C., and forcibly storming past Capitol Police and other law enforcement.
The information charges alleged Oath Keeper co-conspirator William Todd Wilson with seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding in connection with the larger seditious conspiracy case charged in U.S. v. Caldwell et al.
Jonathon Shroyer is charged on three counts in connection with his alleged entry and conduct in restricted areas of the U.S. Capitol grounds, off-limits to the public, on Jan. 6. This criminal complaint attaches a detailed statement of facts, which includes allegations relating to Shroyer's comments in various Infowars promotional material calling for action to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote, as well as photos and descriptions of his conduct on Jan. 6. The statement of facts also references a deferred prosecution agreement into which Shroyer had entered in February 2020 as a result of his disorderly conduct and interruption of a House Judiciary Committee meeting in December 2019. The deferred prosecution agreement was still active on Jan. 6.
- First Superseding Indictment of Alleged Proud Boys Dominic Pezzola, William Pepe and Matthew Greene
- The first superseding indictment lists ten counts. Seven counts are alleged against all three defendants, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, multiple counts of obstructing law enforcement and disorderly conduct. Pezzola is charged with three additional counts, including assaulting an officer and robbery. The indictment alleges that Pezzola, Pepe and Greene coordinated with other members of the Proud Boys in advance of and during the events of Jan. 6, led a crowd to force their way through police lines, entered the Capitol after Pezzola used a riot shield he had stolen from a Capitol Police officer, engaged in violent acts against property and later celebrated their actions on social media.
- First Superseding Indictment of Four Alleged Proud Boys leaders
- The indictment charges four alleged leaders of different state chapters of the Proud Boys. It alleges that Nordean is president of his local chapter in Washington, Biggs an organizer from Florida, Rehl is president of his local chapter in Pennsylvania, and Donohoe is president of his local chapter in North Carolina. The defendants allegedly encouraged Proud Boys to come to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, instructed that members should avoid wearing attire identifying them as Proud Boys, obtained paramilitary gear, used equipment to coordinate and execute the the January 6 attack, forced their way past police lines, unlawfully entered the Capitol, destroyed government property, engaged in disorderly conduct, and celebrated their actions on social media.
- Indictment of Richard Barnett, who was famously photographed with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk
- The seven-count indictment charges Barnett, an Arkansas man, with three felonies, including corruptly obstructing a congressional proceeding and entering and remaining in a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The alleged weapon was a ZAP Hike N Strike Stun Gun Walking Stick.
- Government's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Modification of Bail
- On April 12, 2021, the government opposed Barnett's motion for conditional pretrial release. Recapping and supplementing the charges of the criminal complaint and indictment, it alleges that Barnett entered the Capitol with a stun gun; posed for photos in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office with his feet up on her desk; left her a note saying "Nancy, Bigo was here, you bitch"; confronted police officers; used a bullhorn to rile up the crowd; and remarked that there is an ongoing "civil war." The government also alleged that Barnett had a prior history of threatening conduct with firearms. On April 28, 2021, Judge Christopher Cooper ordered Barnett released with conditions.
- Statement of Offense (accompanying guilty plea) of Klete Derik Keller, Olympic gold-medalist swimmer
- In late September 2021, Keller, a 6'6" Olympic gold-medalist swimmer, pleaded guilty to the felony of corruptly obstructing a congressional proceeding. He admitted entering the Capitol to stop or delay the Electoral College vote count, repeatedly refusing police orders to leave the Rotunda, "shaking law enforcement officers off" him by jerking his elbow when they attempted to remove him, and later destroying his phone, memory card, and the USA jacket he'd worn during the riot. Later in January, he turned himself in. His guilty plea includes a cooperation agreement. His sentencing guidelines call for a 21-27 month sentence.
- Government Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Release
- Edward Jacob Lang was arrested on Jan. 16, 2021 and indicted on Jan. 29, 2021. His 11-count indictment includes three felony counts of assaulting, resisting, and impeding certain law enforcement officers (including two counts involving use of a deadly or dangerous weapon); three felony counts of civil disorder; and one felony count of corruptly impeding a congressional proceeding. According to the government, Lang was involved in fights with the police around the Capitol's Lower West Terrace tunnel for almost two-and-a-half hours, from 2:40 p.m. to nearly 5 p.m.. Incriminating stills and video of him were allegedly captured from Capitol surveillance cameras, police body-worn cameras, and on videos recovered from Lang's own phone or his Instagram or Facebook accounts. He was allegedly among the first rioters to enter the tunnel at 2:41 p.m.; was with them when they broke windows and yelled that police officers were "enemies of the state." He and another rioter allegedly "violently pushed a door against an officer's head" while Lang "kicked at that officer." He then briefly left the archway, filmed a selfie video saying "we are the real men." He later posted a still from that video on Facebook saying, "Arrest me. You are on the wrong side of history." At 3:08 p.m. he allegedly reentered the tunnel and pushed in unison with other rioters, chanting "Heave-ho," trying to break through a line of officers. During this operation another police officer was being "violently crushed against the first set of doors." Lang was pushed out of the tunnel but allegedly reentered at 3:15 p.m.. He was pushed out again. He then allegedly took more selfies—later posted to Instagram--in which he bragged of having taken "a little pepper spray in the morning." At about 3:50 p.m. the violence resumed, with Lang allegedly "one of the leaders." The government alleges that he grabbed and hit an officer repeatedly. He "crowd-surfed to commit violence," the government alleges. He "repeatedly kicked" a detective who had fallen, according to this filing. He then took another break to film another video which he later posted to Instagram, the Government claims. Later, at about 4:43 p.m. he allegedly struck another officer with a stolen riot shield multiple times. Then he allegedly slammed the riot shield on the ground several times to "rile" the crowd, while other rioters threw "poles, plastic cones, desk drawers, and sticks" and the officers. Lang then, between 4:55-5 p.m., allegedly attacked officers with a bat another rioter had handed him. He "varied between low swings, overhead swings, and thrusts," according to the government. One officer struck "had trouble standing" that night, "limped for days," and "the swelling took a month to subside," according to the filing. The next day, Lang participated in a nearly 45-minute interview on Instagram in which he said, 'This was no mob ... This was an organized unit of patriots trying to take on tyrants. ... This was patriots ... on a mission to have the Capitol building. To stop the election from being stolen so that we at least have one presidential veto left from all of these bullshit laws and restrictions." U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols denied Lang's motion for release and, in early October, Lang appealed.