Federal judge blocks release of man accused of carrying plastic restraints into Capitol during riot

Federal judge blocks release of man accused of carrying plastic restraints into Capitol during riot
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A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the release of a Tennessee man who was seen inside the Capitol carrying a handful of plastic restraints during the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said Eric Gavelek Munchel of Nashville, Tenn., and his mother Leslie Marie Eisenhart both pose a “clear danger to the republic” in ways that would have troubled former President George Washington, according to NBC News

He has ruled that they will stay in prison until trial.

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Both Munchel and Eisenhart were charged with conspiracy in January following the Capitol riots. Video from the Capitol that day appears to show them “in the vicinity of a mob of individuals that are physically attacking two Capitol Police officers guarding entry into the Senate chamber.”

Munchel has also been charged with entering a restricted building without lawful authority. 

In court filings, prosecutors alleged that Munchel and Eisenhart took the plastic restraints off a table inside the Capitol building as a way to prevent Capitol police officers from restraining the rioters.

Yahoo News reported that much of the evidence cited by prosecutors came from an iPhone strapped to Munchel's chest during the riot that recorded his time inside the Capitol.

Quoting Washington, Lamberth wrote in his decision released Thursday that, "The very idea of the power of and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government."

"Indeed, few offenses are more threatening to our way of life," Lamberth added.

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According to NBC, Lamberth cited a previous interview the mother and son had given to the Times of London as proof that they were prone to violence in order to achieve political goals.

Eisenhart told the Times, “This country was founded on revolution ... I’d rather die a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.”

"By word and deed, Munchel has supported the violent overthrow of the United States government. He poses a clear danger to the republic," the judge wrote, saying the same for Eisenhart.