Saturday, February 27, 2021

If The Straw Man Had A Brain

He Told Me To



Case No. 21-mj-218 (ZMF)
Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell





Defendant William Chrestman, along with at least four co-conspirators, enthusiastically participated in the storming of the U.S.Capitol on January 6, 2021, with video clips showing him brandishing an axe handle and donning tactical gear to confront, threaten, and impede the police and to encourage the mob in its assault on the constitutional ritual of confirming the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. As a result of this conduct, he has been charged in a six-count criminal complaint with five felony offenses and one Class B misdemeanor offense. See Crim. Compl. (“Compl.”) at 2, ECF No. 2-2. The government seeks review of a magistrate judge’s order releasing defendant pending trial on these charges. Gov’t’s Mot. for Emergency Stay and for Review of Release Order (“Gov’t’s Mot.”), ECF No. 7.

Following a hearing held on February 23, 2021, the government’s motion was granted, and defendant was ordered detained pending trial. Min. Entry (Feb. 23, 2021). Set out below are the written findings and reasons underlying this order. See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i)(1) (requiring that a detention order “include written findings of fact and a written statement of the reasons for the detention”); United States v. Nwokoro, 651 F.3d 108, 112 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (remanding to the district court for a preparation of “findings of fact and a statement of reasons in support of [defendant’s] pretrial detention” when a transcription of the detention hearing was insufficient).


Defendant is charged in a criminal complaint with five felony counts: (1) Conspiracy to Commit An Offense Against the United States, specifically, to obstruct law enforcementon the Capitol grounds and inside the Capitol building and to obstruct certification of the vote count of the Electoral College of the 2020 Presidential Election, along with at least four co-conspirators, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371; (2) Obstructing, Impeding, or Interfering with a Law Enforcement Officer Lawfully Engaged in the Performance of His Official Duties, Incident to the Commission of a Civil Disorder that Adversely Affects the Performance of Any Federally Protected Function, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 231(a)(3); (3) Obstruction of an Official Proceeding(the joint session of Congress convened to certify the Electoral College vote),in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2); (4) Threatening to Assault a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(B); and (5) Knowingly Entering or Remaining in Any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§1752(a)(1) and (2),with a felony enhancement for carrying a dangerous weapon under §1752(b)(1)(A). Compl. at 2. He is also charged in an additional count with the Class B misdemeanor offense of Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds, in violation of 40 U.S.C. §§5104(e)(2)(D) and (G). Id.The government’s evidence of the conduct underlying these charges and proffer in support of pretrial detention is described below, followed by a brief overview of the procedural history..."

Read more at: US v Chrestman