Griffin’s legal professionals have argued that his case is among the many easiest to come up from the Jan. 6 investigation and shouldn’t require many months for prosecutors to share related proof and put together the case for trial. However prosecutors are dealing with competing pressures: their obligation to show over an exhaustive database of proof to the entire Capitol riot defendants whereas guaranteeing their proper to a speedy trial.
“1000’s of folks that have been recording occasions on their telephones and importing it to social media. Each a kind of telephones that has a search warrant needs to be searched and scoped,” stated Assistant U.S. Lawyer Emily Miller, the Justice Division’s level particular person to coordinate the handover of Capitol riot proof to protection attorneys. “There’s going to be a whole lot of video that needs to be processed on this case for months to return.”
Griffin’s case presents a confluence of challenges for prosecutors and judges in Washington as they grapple with the dimensions and complexity of the Jan. 6 investigation. Courts are already dealing with trial backlogs due to delays attributable to the Covid pandemic, and prosecutors have described the Jan. 6 investigation as probably the most advanced in U.S. historical past, requiring intense assets to course of a still-growing mountain of proof.
Prosecutors are additionally underneath stress from judges to prioritize gathering proof for the handfuls of Capitol riot defendants detained whereas they await trial, most dealing with assault or conspiracy prices.
McFadden stated he understood the issues raised by the Justice Division and Griffin, and he stated the method of organizing proof within the circumstances has taken longer than he anticipated. He stated a mid-March trial date was the earliest he might set given the backlog ensuing from Covid delays, though Griffin has waived his proper to be tried by a jury, leaving his destiny as much as the choose.
“I perceive your frustration,” McFadden, an appointee of President Donald Trump, stated to Griffin. “However we’re the place we’re.”
Griffin famous he’s been the main target of a recall effort in New Mexico primarily based on the allegations he broke the legislation on Jan. 6. “I’ve already been tried, convicted and sentenced from the native to the state to the nationwide media,” he stated. “The media can simply proceed to annihilate me and rip me to shreds on this.”
However McFadden stated there was no disputing that prosecutors, who opposed setting any trial date within the case, have been dealing with a sophisticated state of affairs. “You have been concerned in an occasion that concerned tons of if not 1000’s of individuals,” he instructed Griffin.
Griffin, by way of his attorneys Nicholas and David Smith, can also be urgent prosecutors to show over movies allegedly exhibiting U.S. Capitol Law enforcement officials eradicating limitations and waving on members of the Jan. 6 mob. These movies, accompanying written misconduct allegation studies disclosed by the division earlier this month, are prone to turn into essential proof for Jan. 6 protection groups who say their shoppers thought that they had permission to enter the constructing.
A lot of the 38 misconduct studies gathered by the Capitol Police have been decided to be unsubstantiated by inside investigators, and Miller stated prosecutors are apprehensive the substance of these studies may very well be used for “disinformation” or to harass particular person officers. However she added that prosecutors intend to show over all these video displays as quickly as they can convert the video right into a usable format, a course of they count on to take not less than one other week.
Prosecutors are already processing 1000’s of hours of Capitol surveillance footage and physique digital camera footage from the D.C. Metropolitan Police and different native businesses that responded to the riot.
However Miller additionally bristled on the notion that it’s prosecutors’ job to check each minute of footage from each telephone, surveillance digital camera or police digital camera and determine which of it’s related to every defendant. She stated that the complexity of scouring the footage whereas continually including new proof might require the federal government to hunt to delay even the March 2022 trial date.
“There’s too many unknowns,” she stated.