A charged January 6 protestor did not have a “fully assembled” Lego model of the Capitol, as was reported by the press, and was in fact still in the box, according to a new court filing.
Robert Morss, 27, from Pennsylvania, was indicted last month by federal prosecutors for allegedly leading a clash against police during the January 6 protests on Capitol Hill. Contained within the indictment, reported by Smoking Gun and later made viral by the Daily Beast, was a claim that the FBI had seized a rather unusual piece of evidence from Morss’s home – a “fully constructed” Lego set of the US Capitol itself. “The prosecutors didn’t say whether Morss used his toy to help plan the Capitol insurrection,” the Daily Beast reported last week, sparking a narrative maintained by multiple news sites.
While arresting Robert Morss of Allegheny County last month for participation in Jan. 6 riot, feds found “How to Create a Hometown Militia” notebook + his fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set. https://t.co/p2Q5YLoaOI
— Jeremy Roebuck (@jeremyrroebuck) July 6, 2021
— New York Post (@nypost) July 7, 2021
Following the spread of the story by the mainstream media to maintain the narrative that the “Capitol insurrection” was explicitly planned by Trump supporters, it faced widespread mockery from conservatives, with some suggesting that the FBI and authorities may start knocking on people’s doors for owning Lego Death Stars or various other models.
FBI Agents Raid Massive Terrorist Compound In California https://t.co/y5iQnsGF3M
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) July 11, 2021
Be careful what you buy online pic.twitter.com/DZipiuygoE
— NautPoso 🇮🇪 🚀 (@NautPoso) July 8, 2021
However, in new court filings, it turned out that the government had actually made a “miscommunication” in their original filings. The Lego Capitol set was, in fact, still within its original box, and “not fully constructed at the time of the search.” In fact, it is unclear whether Morss had even begun to construct the model, with no visible pieces from the widely-sought after set seen in the larger box of Lego.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) July 9, 2021
Court documents from June 30 pertaining to the indictment of Fi Doung, a man belonging to a “loosely affiliated, unnamed group of like-minded individuals” compared to a “known militia group located in Northern Virginia,” reveal that DC Metropolitan Police had an undercover federal employee working in DC on the morning of and leading up to the events at the Capitol on January 6, specifically at Freedom Plaza and the Capitol building area.
On the morning of January 6, 2021, FI DUONG and an associate of his (ASSOCIATE 1) introduced themselves to a Metropolitan Police Department Undercover Employee (MPD UCE) in the vicinity of Freedom Plaza, Washington, D.C. DUONG asked the MPD UCE if he/she was a “patriot,” to which the MPD UCE responded in the affirmative and asked DUONG the same question. DUONG responded by claiming to be an “operator.”