Federal prosecutors say North Alabama man breached Capitol, had physical encounters with police

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The criminal cases stemming from the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continue to unfold. Prosecutors say they’ve uncovered new evidence in their case against Joshua James of Arab.

He is charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and unlawfully entering a restricted area, among other charges.

James had initially been denied bond by a federal judge, but on April 9 a judge agreed to his release on bond – while imposing a number of conditions.

But prosecutors want to see that decision reversed. But in a Friday court filing, prosecutors say they now have police body cam video from the chaotic scene inside the Capitol that day that includes James. The filing argues for James’ return to jail pending a trial.

Prosecutors noted the Washington, D.C.-based judge said it was a close call on whether to allow James – a member of the Oath Keepers group – to be released, due to a lack of evidence that James had engaged in any violence on Jan. 6.

The release order followed more than two dozen letters sent to the court in support of James, attesting to his character. The bond conditions included no contact with the Oath Keepers group, incarceration at home, and mental health counseling.

Prosecutors for the U.S. Department of Justice argue James had physical encounters with more than one officer in the Capitol.

“The government has now discovered evidence that the defendant assaulted multiple law enforcement officers after storming inside the Capitol building,” the filing argues. “The evidence includes a video from the defendant’s phone and body-worn camera footage from two law-enforcement officers involved in the confrontation with the defendant—all of which the government has provided to the defendant and to the Court as Exhibit One to the government’s motion.”

The prosecution argues the video also contradicts defense claims that James was in Washington, D.C. that day to work as part of a security detail.

“A screenshot of the officer’s body-worn camera footage provides another angle of the confrontation, clearly showing the defendant’s face,” the filing argues. “The video further shows surrounding officers having to force the defendant to stop pulling the officer before managing to push the defendant away. The defendant responds by approaching the officers again and grabbing another officer by both shoulders. The defendant, while aggressively yanking the officer toward the Rotunda exit, starts screaming, ‘Get out of my Capitol! Get out! Get out of my Capitol!’”                 

The Justice Department also says James was eventually hit with a chemical spray and left the building.

The court will likely direct James’ lawyers to respond to the new allegation, before any hearing or decision on his custody status. The court also today granted a request to allow James to use the Internet — but only for matters related to his case.

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