A few weeks ago video revealed that during the events of January 6, a side door to the Capitol was mostly unguarded and open.
According to police security footage obtained by a media outlet, more than 300 people were allowed into the Congress house unimpeded, even though officers tried to keep protesters out of other areas.
Now, a Washington, D.C. jury ruled Ohio citizen Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas not guilty of a crime punishable by a 20-year prison sentence, dealing the latest setback to the Biden administration’s unlawful, overbroad investigation into January 6 protesters.
A twenty-year felony charge of “obstruction of official proceedings” was dismissed earlier this month against Thomas, an Ohio father of four who served in the Navy.
The accusations of assault on a federal officer and disorderly behavior on Capitol grounds, which the jury was deadlocked on, were eventually dropped.
According to lawyer John Pierce, who defended Thomas in court:
“This is an incredible win for Joe Thomas and all January 6th defendants… We picked apart the credibility of the government’s witnesses, and we made the strategic decision to put Joe on the stand in his own defense.
He was extremely credible, and the jury clearly believed his testimony that he came to DC that day not to obstruct Congress, but rather to have his voice be heard about the 2020 election.”
“We intend to take every one of these cases to trial and to win.
Whatever we can’t win at the district court level, we will win on appeal. It is also clear that representing so many defendants is becoming a huge advantage for us.
There is a steep learning curve with respect to these cases. The fact we have so many is allowing us to start connecting the dots on a very deep level in terms of what happened at the Capitol that day.
This is years’ worth of work that it is impossible to replicate if you are a law firm that only has one or two of these cases,” Pierce stated, further urging that the Republican-controlled U.S. House release all of the videos from January 6.
“The GOP-controlled House needs to step it up. They promised the American people they would release the footage, and they have failed to do that.
They promised they would launch a real investigation into January 6th, and they have failed to do that too. They have also completely given up the leverage they had with the power of the purse in terms of reigning in the abuses of the FBI and DOJ in connection with these prosecutions.
Honestly, I have no idea what they are doing. If the House GOP would do its job, we would win more and more of these cases going forward,” Pierce continued.
Regarding the latest video which shows a door was opened at the Capitol Building and hundreds of protesters were allowed in, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., first raised concerns two years ago about what occurred around 2:30 pm that afternoon, right before other breaches began.
There is a sign clearly marking the fire evacuation door for an emergency exit on the non-public Upper West Terrace hallway, which Capitol Police officers usher a few protesters toward, according to the footage.
The sign declares, “Emergency exit only,” and tells evacuees to “push until alarm sounds” so that the “doors will unlock in 10 seconds.” 309 people pass through it in fewer than 20 minutes from the outside after one person leaves; the doors then seem to open from within.
According to the video examined by Just the News and made available for distribution by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the GOP-led House Administration Committee, Capitol Police officers ultimately made their way to the opened Upper West Terrace doors but did not block the doorway and more rioters went on to move into the building. The officers in the video lacked riot gear or helmets.
“Video footage of other locations of the Capitol that day show officers attempting to physically block entrances to stop rioters from coming into the building, with rioters at some times striking the officers or spraying them with pepper spray,” Just the News reported.
The Capitol Police press office did not respond to requests from Just the News seeking comment. Its official after-action report barely mentions the episode, simply noting that at 2:34 p.m. the “Upper West Terrace is breached.”
The Upper West Terrace is located between the House and Senate sides of the building and has been a major focus of many trespassing prosecutions by the U.S. Justice Department.
J6 Unmasked: Security footage confirms Senate door opened, allowing 300 to enter Capitol freely
A door on the West side of the U.S. Capitol was left open and mostly unguarded for key moments during the Jan. 6 riot, allowing more than 300 people to enter the building unimpeded… pic.twitter.com/fBR2lwLGIq
— AɯƙɯαɾԃMαɱα™® (@Aspiemama_107) June 6, 2023
Current and former Capitol Police officers as well as congressional aides briefed on security told Just the News the video footage should be used to create a powerful lesson learned since it did not involve a forced breach but rather a fateful decision to move a few intruders through the emergency doors. That decision, they said, most likely triggered the emergency fire system and unlocked the entrance, creating a new entryway for protesters and a new vulnerability for officers trying to protect the Capitol.
Johnson, who first highlighted that such footage existed back in June 2021, said its release by Just the News was important so that vulnerabilities unaddressed by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee could be addressed now.
Following a second viewing of the video on Monday night, Johnson stated to Just the News’s No Noise television program that “some people did enter the Capitol, not by committing acts of violence, but were literally let in.”