Federal judge alleges ‘nonsense’ as he takes over Jan. 6th case

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:58 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Federal Judge Royce Lamberth abruptly ended a status conference hearing on Tuesday. The hearing was Lamberth’s first in the pending trial of Ryan Nichols and Alex Harkrider.

Lamberth took over the case after federal Judge Thomas Hogan announced last month that he’s retiring.

The two Texas men are facing multiple charges related to the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

On Tuesday, Nichols’ legal team asked for more time before a March 27 trial date, and asked Judge Lamberth to take another look at some of Judge Hogan’s orders. They say are those orders are making it hard for Nichols to review evidence and receive mental health treatment as he prepares for trial.

The judge first heard out the Nichols team. and listened to prosecutors who said they were ready for trial. Judge Lamberth then told the Nichols team they are getting off on the wrong foot with him. Lamberth also told Nichols’ lawyers that they brought what he called ‘nonsense’ to the hearing. Lamberth asked for requests from the Nichols camp to be made in writing, then quickly ended Tuesday’s hearing.

In a text message to Gray Television’s Washington News Bureau, McBride wrote, “the Federal Government has deliberately withheld the release of exculpatory evidence and thwarted Mr. Nichols’s ability to review his discovery since the inception of this case. Mr. Nichols has also been prevented from receiving psychiatric medical care for PTSD, a medical condition he was diagnosed with years before J6. As stated on the record, we disagree with the characterization of those concerns as nonsense.”

Nichols, a former U.S. Marine, is accused of spraying police officers with a type of pepper spray on January sixth. It’s among a series of charges he and his friend Alex Harkrider face. On the day of the attack on the Capitol, Nichols is also seen holding a crowbar and telling rioters it was not a peaceful protest. In a social media post shortly after, Nichols said he stood for violence. McBride says Nichols intent that day was grounded in the First Amendment and he was trying to help not hurt people.

The trial as of now is set for March 27, the Nichols team wants to push it back to June. It’s unclear whether the trial date will be moved.