Washington – Delaware man accused of hoisting Confederate flag across US Capitol building January 6 attack next month there will be a trial along with his son. They will be tried not before a jury of 12 of their peers, but before a judge who will be the only one to consider their fate, according to court materials.

Kevin Sifrid and his son Hunter – who pleaded not guilty to several charges, including obstruction of official process and hooliganism – will appear before Judge Trevor McFadden on June 13, 2022 at trial. McFadden is expected to hear evidence and testimony from both sides, ask questions to any witnesses called and make a final verdict on each article.

Of the six cases from January 6 that have been considered and completed so far, only two have been court trials. McFadden was a judge randomly appointed to hear both of these cases, and unlike the jurors in the other four, the judge acquitted one defendant on all counts and the other defendant on one of two counts against him.

Jurors found all four defendants guilty of facing jury trials, on all counts, each within hours.

“The extraordinary circumstance of so many defendants in cases involving the same facts and mostly the same legal arguments before one judge gives these defendants a huge advantage,” said Catherine Ross, a law professor at George Washington University, adding that the defendants believed and take into account how the judge has previously made decisions in similar cases.

Defendants cannot choose judges who manage their cases in any situation. Judges are appointed at random, but since more than 800 cases are pending on Jan. 6 in the District of Columbia Federal Court building, such an imposition is inevitable.

Trump supporters are holding on
Clashes between Trump supporters and police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators violated security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated certification for the 2020 presidential election.

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Defendant Cui Griffin is a New Mexico County commissioner who was Judge McFadden acquitted one of the two charges in March – called the decision a “partial victory”, talking to supporters in the courtroom shortly after the verdict.

McFadden found Griffin guilty of knowingly and illegally entering Capitol territory near then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the Capitol building to confirm the vote count, and remained in the Capitol complex during the riot. But McFadden pleaded not guilty to Griffin’s second charge of hooliganism, saying Griffin’s attempt to force the crowd to pray with him, “perhaps”, was not a mess but an attempt to calm the crowd.

Asked by CBS News if he would recommend others to go to a “jury trial” instead of a jury trial, Griffin said: “If I were anywhere but Washington, D.C., I would say go to a jury trial. You may not get a fair trial in Washington, DC, if you’re like me. I’m a strong conservative. “

But Griffin said there is a risk if the defendant leaves his fate in the hands of a single judge rather than a jury that must unanimously convict a person to plead guilty. “You put all your eggs in one basket,” he said. “With the jury you have twelve baskets. Everyone (the defendant) will have to pray through it and make that decision.”

Griffin is due to be sentenced on June 17 on the sole charge of illegal charges for which he was convicted by McFadden. His lawyer did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment.

Trump supporters are holding on
Supporters of President Donald Trump are protesting at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators violated security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated certification for the 2020 presidential election.

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More than a dozen defendants argued by the jury on January 6th will not give them a fair trial and asked to take their cases out of the DC

McFadden acquitted defendant Matthew Martin, a contractor from New Mexico, of all four charges of official misconduct the Department of Justice has filed against him. After the ruling, Martin told CBS News: “I am very pleased with the judge’s verdict. And I really want to adjust my life. “

In his ruling, McFadden referred to Martin’s behavior in the Capitol, noting that he did not seem to shout or crowd. McFadden also cited video evidence showing that police did not physically block Martin when he entered the building, and one of them may have even waved at him. McFadden said it was a “tight bell” on charges of entering the banned building. McFadden agreed that Martin had entered the Capitol, but said in his ruling that intent was key.

After the verdict, his lawyer Dan Crohn said that the decision to sue McFadden “could reduce both sides”, adding: “If it’s a jury trial, then all 12 must convict someone. In the trial, you only have one person.” .

Don Lewis, a New York attorney, agrees. “In defense, only one shot with the judge,” he explained. Despite the risk, Lewis said, some defendants may choose to prosecute particularly high-profile cases, such as the January 6 prosecution, when public opinion may already be forming.

“The judge handling the case is obviously a crucial factor,” Lewis said.

Other defendants on Jan. 6 also asked judges for a trial later this year, like Kyle Fitzsimmons, accused of numerous violent crimes against law enforcement. Fitzsimans pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial, instead asking Judge Rudolf Contreras, Obama’s appointee, to rule on his guilt. The judge has not yet granted his request.

McFadden also engaged in other high-profile cases on Jan. 6. In September 2021, he decided to take into custody the owner of the restaurant Pauline Bauer, where she is awaiting trial. Bower, a native of Pennsylvania, faces lower-level charges but has thwarted lawsuits by bombings, used language appropriate to “sovereign citizens” who consider themselves outside the federal government’s jurisdiction, and previously violated her release. She often interrupted McFadden during court hearings because she represented herself in the case.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: Protesters seize inauguration
Protesters take the stage of the inauguration during a protest calling on lawmakers to cancel the election results in favor of President Donald Trump at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Ricky Corioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Capitol violation case Jenny Cud McFadden caught attention when she approved Cudd’s request to leave her home in Midland, Texas to spend a vacation for her staff in the Mexican Riviera Maya, despite restrictions on pre-trial release for her travel. Cudd was charged with two felonies. McFadden’s order said Cud had no criminal record and that he was not given evidence that Cud was a risk to escape or a danger to others. The order gained notoriety because it was issued in February 2021, less than a month after the attack on the Capitol. Kad complied with the court ruling and ultimately pleaded guilty to one of the charges of illegal intrusion. McFadden sentenced her to two months probation and fined her $ 5,000.

He also denied isolated attempts by both Kevin and Hunter Zeffried to drop some charges against them, paving the way for a future trial.

McFadden was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by President Donald Trump in 2017. The Senate confirmed it by 84 votes to 10 on October 30, 2017.

McFadden an official application form has been sent the Senate Judiciary Committee said he “volunteered as an investigator for President Trump’s transition team” both before and after election day in November (2016). ” In his written responses to committee questions, McFadden described his role in Trump’s transition. team: “I have reviewed information from public sources regarding potential political appointees to the executive branch for evidence that could disqualify them or adversely affect the President if they are appointed to office.”

According to his biography published in court, before being appointed a judge on Federal Bench McFadden in 2017, he worked as a lawyer in private practice and in the Ministry of Justice, most recently as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Criminal Affairs.

McFadden, the chief judge of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting defendants Jan. 6, all denied CBS News’s request for comment.


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