If you’re a regular at TruthNewsNetwork, you know Steve Baker. If you don’t remember, he’s a photo/investigative journalist who captured most of the events in multiple videos on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. His work was so widely shared across the U.S. and foreign television stations that he found himself to be a subject of the FBI investigation of everybody that was there — even if peaceful and never attempted any wrongdoing. Because of his international videos, he was notified by the FBI that he IS a subject of investigation himself and is expecting an indictment at any time. Subsequently, Steve is a “subject” in federal trials of several of the Oath Keepers — one of the conservative groups targeted by the Department of Justice in their “1/6” investigation.
The first trial of those from that group began this week in D.C. Steve was there on Day one of the first trial. The following is his documentation of this day involving Ken Harrelson. You’ll see the story is bittersweet — mostly sweet! He’ll be giving us updates as these trials continue.
This is something you’ll certainly enjoy!
When I first heard about it, my only thought was that it would be a great story to share. When I saw the note, I cried.
Angel Harrelson hasn’t seen her husband, Ken — Oath Keeper and January 6th defendant — face-to-face in almost 600 days. To be precise, not since Ken’s first bond hearing was on March 15, 2021. Yesterday was the first day of jury selection in the most high-profile case stemming from the January 6 riot. Harrelson and four others now face the serious charge of seditious conspiracy. Even though the Harrelsons were in the same D.C. courtroom together, for the first time in more than 19 months, they were still not allowed to touch, embrace, or even speak to one another. (More on that later.)
After the day’s proceedings, Angel told me that being in Ken’s “physical presence, yet not being able to talk to or touch the love of my life, was the hardest thing to do. So, I thought I would do the next best thing.”
That next best thing? She passed him a note in court. Something apparently against the rules and frowned upon by the U.S. Marshals eyeballing everyone’s movements and activities in that courtroom. Angel more specifically passed the note to Ken’s attorney, Brad Geyer, who quietly and without reading it, slid it across the desk to Ken. Seeing the illicit activity, one of the Marshals intervened and confiscated the note before notifying Judge Mehta of the infraction.
Over the past many months leading up to this trial, Federal Judge Amit Mehta has not paved an easy path for these defendants or their defense attorneys, more often than not, striking down their petitions for change of venue, continuance, pre-trial release from detention, additional discovery, witness lists, and all other manners of motions and legal requests. Since Angel Harrelson has been closely following every detail of her husband’s case and is painfully aware that Mehta’s grace for these defendants seems in short supply, she thought she’d gotten herself into some trouble — and maybe even Ken and his attorney, as well — when the U.S. Marshall apparently tattled directly to Mehta about the illicitly passed note.
First, the U.S.Marshall allowed two other Marshalls to read the note. Geyer tried to intervene, apologizing to the Marshall in an attempt to forgo any disruptions or repercussions, but the Marshall informed Geyer that he was “compelled to notify The Court.” After handing Mehta the note, the judge halted the procedures and called Geyer and one of the prosecuting attorneys to the bench, where Mehta was then forced to bear witness to the simple humanity of the situation. He opened and read the note to the two attorneys:
Hey, my love!
You look so good, and that shirt n pants fit you good! I love you, My love of My life & My King!
Love your Queen (AKA wife)
Angel had purchased Ken some new clothes for the trial and simply wanted to express her unfailing love for and attraction to her King. Mehta, Geyer, and the prosecutor quietly discussed the situation at the Bench with the microphone turned off. Geyer told Mehta he wished to take full responsibility for the infraction, hoping this would not lead to a situation where Angel might be barred from the courtroom during her husband’s trial. And, in actuality, it was Geyer himself who passed the note along.
On a phone call this morning, Geyer explained to me that he and Mehta’s several contentious interactions in the various pre-trial hearings that he felt like Mehta might take a serious swat at him. At the least, a verbal dressing down. But, Mehta, as I said . . . read the note . . . and his demeanor softened. Geyer saw it as a ray of much-needed light in this proceeding, where these men might be viewed as something other than just rabid dogs.
Mehta calmly explained to counsel that he had no intention to make a big deal of this. The prosecutor agreed, and Geyer promised better discretion going forward. Then, after returning to the defense table, Geyer leaned over to Angel and said, “I saved it for you.” Meaning: Mehta had given the note back to Geyer following their brief sidebar.
The general impression — as relayed to me by Angel Harrelson and attorney Brad Geyer — is that both the U.S.Marshalls and Judge Mehta were forced to face the simple but raw and emotional humanity of this situation, and they also seemed embarrassed that it had even been made an issue. They all know these defendants have been held in extended pre-trial detention without visitation from their wives and other loved ones. They also know the effect this has had on their families.
The Judge’s ruling: no harm, no foul.
As a postscript to this little human interest story — on the first day of the most important legal proceeding now taking place in the country — you might have a question:
Why has Ken Harrelson been barred from visitation with his wife and family for more than 19 months?
Very simply, Harrelson and many of the other January 6 defendants have refused to take the experimental COVID-19 vaccines and as such, have been punished for their personal medical decisions. But, it’s even more absurd than denying the defendants direct contact with their families. Geyer told me they are also denied video conferencing with their loved ones as a direct punishment for not submitting to the vaccine. Phone calls, yes. Skype or Zoom, no. Obviously, there is no remotely scientific rationale for allowing phone calls and denying video calls with family. It is simply a punitive move by the Department of Justice against these defendants.
Further, even visiting family members are required to provide proof of vaccination before being allowed to visit someone held in detention at the D.C. Detention Facility.
It should be noted the government does not require prisoners to take the jab. Still, those who refuse will face additional punishments, restrictions, and other denials of basic human rights and privileges afforded the vax-compliant members of the prison population. Based on this clear violation of civil rights, human rights, and international law against forced medical experiments, attorney Brad Geyer last year filed a lengthy, 130-page brief, arguing why his client, Ken Harrelson, should be released from pre-trial detention because of the clear attempt by the D.C. jail to force vaccine compliance through those coercive and penalizing measures.
The very same currently presiding judge over this case, Amit Mehta, shot down that filing in no uncertain terms: “The court will not allow this case to become a forum for bombastic argument . . . or propagating fringe views about COVID-19 or vaccinations.” (Nov. 2, 2021)
“Fringe views?” Well . . . we now know, beyond any scientific doubt, that vaccines do nothing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Still, the rules against family visitations, personal contact, and even video calls persist, against all scientific reasons or concerns toward basic humanity.
On a final note . . . masks are still required in the D.C. courtroom. This is despite the fact we now have many peer-reviewed studies proving that prolonged mask use is more harmful than the virus against which they supposedly protect us. Not to mention the highly prejudicial aspect of a defendant’s covered face. The jury is to presume their innocence until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But, the five defendants, in this case, will not be allowed to display their humanity underneath those facial coverings, even though the Court is well aware that over 90% of all human communication is non-verbal. Instead, the jury will only see what looks like expressionless, masked bandits sitting at the defense table.
Thankfully, one love letter made it past the prevailing insanity, and we witnessed a small allowance of much-needed mercy and tenderness in this case.
Many of us are praying for more such moments.