J6 Judge Gets a Rap on the Knuckles for Abusing His Power in Sentencing

The DC Court of Appeals administered a sharp bonk with a rolled-up newspaper on the figurative snout of District Court Judge Reggie Walton Friday for Stasi-like overreach in the sentencing of a January 6 defendant. Texas resident Daniel Goldwyn pleaded guilty on January 31, 2023, to two misdemeanor counts of trespassing in the US Capitol. Compare and contrast this with the treatment rendered to the mob of Karens who disrupted the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing or the Antifa who sacked numerous American cities during the summer of 2020.

The problem arose when Goldwyn appeared less than two months after entering his guilty plea on Tucker Carlson’s now-canceled FoxNews show on March 14 to discuss the plight of J6 prisoners. He referred them to a website on January 6. He also mentioned his GiveSendGo fundraising account…but that’s a different story.

When Goodwyn appeared for his June 6, 2023, sentencing, Walton lectured Goodwyn on his Carlson appearance.

The defendant after he entered a plea of guilty, within several months, then appears on the Tucker Carlson show.  And, unfortunately, Mr. Carlson has been a lightning rod and he has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive. And he, obviously, had an objective in the show that he had when the defendant appeared on that show.  And that was to give the impression that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ’21 have been treated unfairly.  And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.
But he sought to try and minimize, not only the conduct of the defendant, but the conduct of others who have been prosecuted as a result of what took place on that day. And counsel suggests that the defendant did not have the opportunity to correct the record.  But he made no attempt to correct the record.  And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.  And there are people who are proclaiming that the individuals who have been prosecuted, who are being detained as a result of that are being held as political prisoners.  And there is just nothing that supports that proposition.

Goodwyn was sentenced to 60 days in jail, ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and $500 in restitution, and given 12 months of supervised release.  Then it started to get interesting. 

Also, I would require that he participate in mental health treatment, if that is deemed to be necessary and that he remain in that treatment until it is no longer felt to be necessary by the probation department.

I thought using psychiatric treatment as punishment went out with the USSR.

Then Walton imposed monitoring for wrongthink.

And since he has used social media in order to provide what I consider to be disinformation about this situation, I would require that he permit his computer use to be subject to monitoring and inspection by the probation department to see if he is, in fact, disseminating information of the nature that relates to the events that resulted in what occurred on January 6th of 2021.

When Goodwyn was released from prison, he petitioned for the return of his passport, phone, and computer, which the FBI seized when he was arrested. Walton agreed to return the passport, but the FBI was allowed to keep the electronics.

At some point in the process, it seems to be about the time Goodwyn was released from prison, he appealed the probation condition that subjected his phone and computer to monitoring by a federal flunky. That appeal was decided on February 1 and filed on March 26.

 Upon consideration of the appellant’s brief; and the motion to remand and the opposition thereto, which includes a request to vacate the special condition of supervised release subjecting appellant to computer monitoring and searches, it is 
ORDERED that the computer-monitoring condition be vacated and the case be remanded for further proceedings.  The district court plainly erred in imposing the computer-monitoring condition without considering whether it was “reasonably related” to the relevant sentencing factors and involved “no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary” to achieve the purposes behind sentencing.  18 U.S.C. § 3583(d)(1), (2); see United States v. Burroughs, 613 F.3d 233, 242–46 (D.C. Cir. 2010).  If the district court decides on remand to impose a new computer-monitoring condition, “it should explain its reasoning,” “develop the record in support of its decision,” and ensure that the condition accords with 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d) and constitutional protections.  Burroughs, 613 F.3d at 246

Walton is one of the federal judges who have taken on the role of Roland Feisler in regard to the J6 defendants. In this case, Walton’s history with Goodwyn, see Federal judge berates riot suspect who refuses to wear mask: ‘When did you go to medical school?’, and irritation over Goodwyn continuing to speak “his truth,” as the kids these days say, on Tucker Carlson’s show led Walton to try to prevent Goodwyn from exercising basic constitutional rights as a condition of parole.

The order reflects the utter impunity shown by the Justice Department in its pursuit of January 6th defendants.  Justice Department official Michael Sherwin  proudly declared in a television interview that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe … it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re, like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.”
Sherwin was celebrated for his pledge to use such draconian means to send a message to others in the country. (Sherwin has left the Justice Department and is now a partner at Kobre & Kim).
The surveillance of the computer shows that the Justice Department continues to act with a sense of utter impunity, particularly when judges are willing to blithely sign off on such orders.

The condition of release was not even unusual in the context of other judicial orders applied to J6 defendants.

Kelly said it was a “close call” when he released Jensen from jail July 13. At the time, the judge said he believed the assertion by Jensen that after being behind bars since Jan. 8, he recognized he had been deceived by “a pack of lies.”
Jensen agreed to abide by the judge’s order imposing conditions for his release, including not accessing the Internet or using Internet-capable devices, including cellphones. The court’s point was to separate Jensen from the far-right QAnon ­conspiracy theory, which the FBI has warned could encourage violence among some believers of its false foundational claim that a cabal of Satan-worshipping “global elites” and “deep state” international child-sex traffickers were engaged in plots to conduct a coup against Trump.
But two weeks after Jensen’s release, a court supervision officer found him alone in his garage streaming news from a right-wing site to a WiFi-enabled iPhone, according to court filings, and prosecutors moved to revoke his bail.
Jensen later admitted that he had also spent two days watching a “cyber symposium” held by pillow magnate Mike Lindell to perpetuate false claims that the 2020 election was hacked in favor of President Biden.
On Thursday, Jensen’s defense lawyer, Christopher M. Davis, said that at first glance it might seem “Orwellian” that a man in his garage could be sent back to jail for streaming the news, but Davis conceded that Jensen had violated the judge’s plain order.

The only thing unusual about this case is that a unanimous panel — Gregory Katsas (Trump), Naomi Rao (Trump), and Bradley Garcia (Biden) — of the DC Circuit decided that a misdemeanor defendant could not have his choice of reading materials put under court supervision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Ships Have Crashed Into Bridges and Lost Power Since Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident

Family of Hamas Prisoner Speaks Out: ‘Ceasefire Without Release of Hostages Is a Death Sentence to Them’