Jan. 6 Defendant Released While Awaiting Critical Court Decision

Kevin Seefried of Laurel, Delaware, who was arrested last May in relation to the Jan. 6 demonstration at the Capitol, was ordered to be released in the coming months while the Supreme Court hears the case Fischer v. United States.

Seefried was photographed carrying a confederate flag inside the Capitol building during the protest.

The demonstration on January 6, which is usually reported as a violent rebellion, insurrection, or attack on democracy, resulted in the fatal shooting of a protester by Capitol Police after the demonstrators were granted permission by law enforcement officials to enter the Capitol building.

While the vast majority of protestors were nonviolent, a few were observed fighting with police and damaging nearby public property.

The isolated event has been difficult for opponents to classify as a rebellion, as they’ve attempted to do in order to prosecute former President Donald Trump, who didn’t attend the gathering and only asked that people protest the decision.

Because of this, most protestors have been charged with “attempt to obstruct an official proceeding” which relies on an obscure law that was created in the wake of the notorious Enron scandal to prosecute suspects trying to interfere with the investigation.

The Supreme Court has decided to hear Fischer v. United States which argues that using the law to justify felony charges for protestors goes against the initial intention of the legislation.

Seefried, along with his son, Hunter, peacefully turned themselves in upon hearing that the government was looking for them.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves asked a judge not to release Seefried, arguing that “Seefried cannot establish by clear and convincing evidence that he does not pose a danger to the community/is not a flight risk; nor can he show that … it is likely that the outcome in Fischer will result in a reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the total of the time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal process.”

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden instead ordered Seefried to be released from prison one year to the date of his surrender, which was May 31, 2023.

“The riot on January 6th was the culmination of a unique — indeed, never-before-seen — confluence of events. The Government provides the Court no evidence suggesting that any of the events that led to that riot are reasonably likely to recur. Nor does it point to any evidence that Seefried would participate in another riot if they did,” the judge wrote in his order on Tuesday.

“Ultimately, none of the Government’s arguments involve any facts specific to Seefried. Instead, they are purely class-based,” McFadden said, later summing up his order with the following statement: “By clear and convincing evidence, Seefried is not likely to flee the jurisdiction or pose a harm to the community during his release.”