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Judge rejects InfoWars host's bid to dismiss Capitol riot charges

Owen Shroyer faces four misdemeanor counts for entering the restricted area of the Capitol grounds on January 6.

WASHINGTON — The federal case against InfoWars host Owen Shroyer will proceed after a federal judge ruled Thursday the Justice Department was not vindictively prosecuting him for participating in the Capitol riot.

Shroyer, an Austin, Texas, resident and host of “The War Room with Owen Shroyer” on the far right-wing site InfoWars, was charged in August with four misdemeanor counts, including entering a restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.

In screenshots included in charging documents, the Justice Department says Shroyer can be seen standing next to InfoWars founder Alex Jones and “Stop the Steal” rally organizer Ali Alexander in a restricted area of the Capitol grounds near the inauguration stage. To date, neither Jones nor Alexander have been charged in connection with the riot.

Credit: Department of Justice
InfoWars host Owen Shroyer (red circle) stands near Ali Alexander and Alex Jones on the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021.

In October, Shroyer’s attorney, Norman Pattis, filed a motion to dismiss the counts against him. Pattis argued the DOJ had failed to disclose video evidence to a magistrate judge and that the charges against Shroyer amounted to “vindictive prosecution.”

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly denied Pattis’ motion, saying none of his arguments held up to the facts.

Kelly pointed out the Justice Department had provided a link to the magistrate judge to all publicly available video from January 6, and that there was nothing to suggest Shroyer was being specifically targeted. He also said Shroyer’s argument that he couldn’t have known he was in a restricted area was undermined by the fact that he signed a detailed pretrial diversion agreement banning him from the Capitol after he was arrested in 2019 for disrupting a hearing during the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

Following Kelly’s ruling, the DOJ indicated plea negotiations in the case had yet to begin while they waited for the motion to dismiss to be resolved. Pattis requested an additional 45 days to resolve issues with both the DOJ and the January 6th Committee. He also said he would likely file a new motion to dismiss based on First Amendment grounds.

Shroyer’s next court appearance was scheduled for March 8 at 3 p.m.

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