A defense attorney representing an alleged participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot demanded on Sunday that the court either dismiss his client’s case or appoint a special master to review evidence following allegations that the FBI tampered with materials, which emerged when cross-examining a bureau witness.
Lawyer Roger Roots is representing Dominic Pezzola and has moved for the court to not merely dismiss the case, but to pause all Jan. 6 prosecutions pending evidentiary hearings, the Epoch Times reported.
Fueling Roots’ request is an exchange from the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller. Attorney Nick Smith, who represents Pezzola co-defendant Ethan Nordean, revealed classified FBI emails that included an order to Miller that she remove an FBI agent from the informant report and destroy 338 pieces of evidence outright.
“The unceremonious and uninhibited nature of Miller’s discussion of committing these serious crimes suggests an FBI culture of corruption and lawlessness that must be immediately stopped, and fully investigated,” reads a Sunday filing from Roots.
While the Department of Justice has contended that Miller’s messages are “classified,” the filing asserts that, should that be the case, Miller and her associates would be guilty of mishandling classified materials, citing their use of personal email accounts.
The DOJ further asserts that much of the evidence in question was unrelated to the case at hand, the Times noted. Pezzola’s defense, however, insists the revelations render the trial null.
“Were this trial to go forward it would be a due process violation,” Roots argues. “Given that there is evidence the government carefully crafted its prosecution around defense strategy communications unlawfully, intentionally, systematically and deliberately gained from attorney/client privileged communications, no new jury or new trial could cure the violations.”
“…[T]he FBI is explicitly making a mockery of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment restrictions in order to wrongly convict the defendants,” Roots writes.
Should the judge decline to dismiss the case, however, Roots asserted that defense attorneys have the right to cross-examine Miller regarding these alleged crimes, at the bare minimum. The attorney, however, argues for much more.
“All January 6 prosecutions should be paused for evidentiary hearings and investigations by a Special Master and Special Counsel,” he declares in the filing. He further seeks the release of Pezzola from custody.