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In Jan 6 Case Joshua James Charged On Videos Still Withheld, Now Inner City Press Challenges

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast Song Filing  II Video Podcast
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN Filing III

FEDERAL COURT, August 23 -- After the DC Circuit's decision in US v. Munchel, DDC Judge Amit P. Mehta had before him Capitol breach defendant Joshua James. He also had video exhibits submitted by DOJ - exhibit Inner City Press has been denied access to, as recently as August 23.

  This denial of access to DOJ / the US Attorney's Office for DC was absurd - only last week Inner City Press after having to file a application was granted access to video in US v. Harrelson. But when, citing that and Judge Mehta's Joshua James order, Inner City Press asked for access, it was told:

"The judge’s order limited dissemination to the Press Coalition."

So Inner City Press ask wrote to Judge Mehta, and the AUSA and Coalition's presumably pro bono counsel at Ballard Spahr: (full filing on DocumentCloud here)

"As previously noted, DOJ interprets your Orders as ONLY requiring or even allowing them to release these judicial documents to the 'Coalition."' This seems absurd, given the case law about the availability of judicial documents to the public, not to a subset thereof.  I received a response from your Law Clerk, saying to apply under DDC Local Criminal Rule 57.6. So:

 Interest in the matter: Inner City Press covers dozens of the January 6 cases, its reporting has been cited in numerous other media. There is no reason for it to have access denied or delayed to videos this Court has provided to other media outlets.

Statement of facts: The video was used as a judicial document in this Court and must be made available, to all and not just some. Specific prayer for relief: Make the video publicly available. In the interim, instruct the Office of the US Attorney to make it available.  

This is being emailed to Chambers, and the same AUSA and defense and Coalition counsel, and should as before be docketed: I do not have filing privileges in DDC, and that should not be required for the press to have access to exhibits released to other media. This needless two-tier process should be fixed, asap. Thank you."

On August 5, Inner City Press filed a letter and motion with Judge Mehta, on its DocumentCloud here.

On August 16, this: "Judge Mehta is in receipt of your email requesting access to the videos filed in United States v. Harrelson, No. 21-cr-28-10.  Under Standing Order No. 21-28, in order for the court to grant Inner City Press access to the videos filed in Mr. Harrelson’s case, you will need to file an application for access pursuant to D.D.C. Local Criminal Rule 57.6."

That rule provides: "Any news organization or other interested person, other than a party or a subpoenaed witness, who seeks relief relating to any aspect of proceedings in a criminal case... shall file an application for such relief with the Court. The application shall include a statement of the applicant's interest in the matter as to which relief is sought, a statement of facts, and a specific prayer for relief."

So, citing the Rule, Inner City Press filed another letter, one page, docketed here

Podcast here.  And Podcast II of August 19 here.

Now on August 19, it's been granted (shouldn't have been necessary): "MINUTE ORDER as to KENNETH HARRELSON (10) granting Inner City Press's 343 Application for Access to Video Exhibits. The United States shall make available to Inner City Press the video exhibits entered into evidence during the detention hearing of KENNETH HARRELSON (10), consistent with the procedures set forth in Standing Order 21-28. Inner City Press is granted permission to record, copy, download, retransmit, and otherwise further publish these video exhibits. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 8/19/2021."

So now, immediately, put on Inner City Press' YouTube, video here

Similarly, Inner City Press asked DOJ and then Judge Timothy Kelly for access to the videos that DOJ had shown to the court in the case: judicial documents that, under case law, must be made available to the public. But it was denied access, on the theory that Judge Kelly's order earlier in the month limited access to these judicial documents to a particular sub-set of the public.

 Inner City Press on July 27 wrote to Judge Kelly, including in the form of a motion, now on DocumentCloud, here. By noon the next day, July 28, nothing - no responses, no response. We'll have more on this. For now, podcast here; music video here.

Inner City Press live tweeted Riley June Williams on January 25, here. 


  From January 22, song here: Thread here.

 Inner City Press' John Earle Sullivan song on SoundCloud here. 


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