Eyebrows Raised: DOJ Empties Coffers Raised For January 6 Defendants

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 31 May 2023 12:00
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The Department of Justice (D.O.J.) has been seeking thousands of dollars in fines from January 6 convicts and lengthy prison sentences.

The D.O.J. believes it is entitled to this money because many defendants have pleaded guilty to the charges against them, and the agency does not want any guilty party to profit from criminal behavior. The D.O.J. prosecutor suggested that such defendants should not be able to "capitalize" on the "notoriety gained in the commission of" their crimes.

Attorney William Shipley, who has represented dozens of January 6 suspects, including Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman, discourages his clients from presenting themselves as political prisoners on crowdsourcing sites like GiveSendGo if they intend to plead guilty. "Until they admit they committed a crime, they're perfectly entitled to shout from the rooftops that the only reason they're being held is because of politics," Shipley said.

However, several January 6 defendants have done just that. Daniel Godwyn, a defendant from Texas, promoted a website that collects donations on behalf of "J6 political prisoners" who are languishing in an "American Gulag" on Tucker Carlson's former Fox News show last March. Godwyn himself has raised $25,000, ostensibly from that website. Markus Maly, a Virginia man convicted of obstructing police officers and "assaulting, resisting, or impeding" them with a deadly weapon on January 6, received $16,000 in donations on an account that referred to him as a "January 6 P.O.W."


Those convicted of committing crimes at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, have thus far been ordered to pay nearly $1 million in fines and restitution. Since public defenders also represented many, the D.O.J. may have felt justified in confiscating much of their crowdsourced funding since that money may not have been used for legal expenses.


However, others have countered that many of the January 6 defendants felt they had no choice but to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors. Shipley has already filed a motion to vacate Chansley's conviction because the government "suppressed" exculpatory "material," including some of the surveillance footage that Tucker Carlson aired earlier this year. As of last month, just one January 6 defendant, Matthew Martin, has been acquitted of all charges. The rest have either pled guilty or been convicted, or the legal case against them remains ongoing.