Joshua James’ lawyers push back against government claims of ‘new evidence’ in Capitol attack

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. — As arrests continue across the country, federal prosecutors have asked a judge to revoke the bond of a Marshall County man facing a number of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Now, his lawyers are pushing back.

Joshua James, of Arab, was granted bond on April 9, under a number of conditions, including home confinement, psychological counseling and no contact with other members of the Oath Keepers group.

Prosecutors say they’ve learned new information about James’ conduct on Jan. 6, but the defense argues that there’s nothing new about the video prosecutors say they’ve discovered, both from police body cams and James’ phone.

The prosecution contends the video shows James violently engaging with police as part of the assault on the capitol that day.

And they say the judge’s earlier finding that there was no evidence of James actively engaged in violence is contradicted by the videos.

The defense argues the body cam video was available to prosecutors well before James’ April bond hearing, and so was the video from his phone.

“The ‘new evidence” pointed to by the government in its latest pleading consists of video footage purportedly from two body cameras worn by D.C. Police on Jan. 6 and a video from January 6 that was allegedly recovered from Mr. James’ cell phone,” the defense filing argues. “All of the government’s ‘new evidence’ was created on January 6. The government and/or law enforcement has been in possession of the body camera footage since Jan. 6 — more than three months prior to Mr. James’s April 9 hearing.

“The government has been in possession of Mr. James’ cell phone since his arrest on March 9, 2021 — one month prior to the April 9, 2021 hearing. Moreover, at the April 9 hearing and in their pleadings leading up to the April 9 hearing, the government repeatedly referenced information that they seized from Mr. James’ cell phone in support of their argument for detention.

“It defies common sense to now suggest that a video that was recovered from that same cell phone is ‘new evidence’ that was previously unavailable.”

The defense says there were two long hearings in the James case and none of that was presented. And, they say it doesn’t touch on the main issue of James’ bond.

James’ attorney says the evidence – that they contend isn’t new – still would not have any bearing on the agreed-upon conditions of his release.

The defense says the test should be whether those conditions would keep people safe, something the judge has already ruled on.

The conditions include home confinement and no contact with the Oath Keepers group.

The defense also argues that none of the allegations are tied to James’ behavior beyond Jan. 6.        

As of Wednesday afternoon the judge had not weighed in on the new arguments.

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