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‘Someone Opened the Doors’ From Inside the Capitol, Oath Keepers’ Jan. 6 Defense Attorney Says

Published: January 31, 2022
Protesters converge on the capital on Jan. 6. Defence attorney for the Oath Keepers, Jonathan Moseley, claims the defendants couldn’t have breached the capital in the manner the prosecution has claimed. (Image: Tyler Merbler/Flickr/CC By 2.0)

Jonathon Moseley, the defense lawyer for the Oath Keepers militia concerning the events on Jan. 6, 2021, in a letter to the United States Attorney’s Office District of Columbia  is arguing that the Columbus Doors, one of the places where participants of the Jan. 6 protest breached the capital, had to be opened from the inside and that they were impossible to break open by protesters unless they carried with them high grade “explosives.”

The attorney is arguing that Kelly Meggs and other members of the right-wing militia could not have done one of the main things they are being prosecuted for which is breaching the Columbus Doors.

“The outer doors cast from solid bronze would require a bazooka, an artillery shell or C4 military-grade explosives to breach,” Moseley wrote in a letter to federal prosecutors, adding that, “That of course did not happen. You would sooner break into a bank vault than to break the bronze outer Columbus Doors,” The Epoch Times reported. 

The doors, which reportedly weigh some 20,000 pounds, lead into the rotunda on the east side of the U.S. Capitol and are secured by magnetic locks that can only be opened from the inside using a security code. The security code is controlled by the Capitol Police, Moseley wrote in an eight-page memo. 

Moseley is confident that prosecutors will be unable to prove at trial that the defendants breached the doors stating, “who is going to testify that the defendants entered the Columbus Doors when the U.S. Capitol Police will begrudgingly testify that that is impossible and cannot be done?”

On Jan 12, 2022, Meggs and 10 other members of the Oath Keepers, were charged with seditious conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, tampering with documents as well as other counts related to the riots on Jan. 6.  

The prosecution is arguing that Meggs led a “stack formation” up the steps of the Capital to the entrance at the Columbus Doors, breaching the doors at 2:39 p.m. at which time the mob entered the Capital. 

Moseley, along with an assistant and other attorneys and investigators, toured the Capital on Jan. 22 and spoke with Capitol Police Officers on duty who were adamant that the doors could not be opened from the outside, Moseley said. 

“These are facts that in the supposedly largest nationwide investigation in the history of the U.S. since the kidnapping of the Charles Lindbergh baby or the search for Al Capone could easily have been investigated, check(ed), and determined before the U.S. Attorney’s Office presented false information to the grand jury,” Moseley wrote.

He continued, “For these purposes, I don’t care who opened the Columbus Doors from the inside, or why, or who they worked for. History will reveal all of that. History will care very much. But all I care about is that it wasn’t my client or any of these defendants, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office knows that or should have discovered it upon reasonable investigation.”

Video footage shows the Oath Keepers near the Columbus Doors however the doors were clearly already opened by the time the men reached the threshold. 

The indictment against Meggs and four other Oath Keepers allege that they “aggressively advanced toward the Rotunda Doors, assaulted the law enforcement officers guarding the doors, threw objects and sprayed chemicals toward the officers and the doors and pulled violently at the doors.”

Moseley has accused prosecutors of pursuing a “fabricated case” against the Oath Keepers that is both “false” and “reprehensible.”

The attorney argues that the prosecution is “Seeking to criminalize political dissent, free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of political association, and the right to petition government for the redress of grievances.”