Man Held in Capitol Riot Asks to Move Trial; Says Jury Pool 'Averse to Trump Supporters'

A Maine man charged in connection to the January 6 Capitol riot is seeking a change of venue because the Washington, D.C., jury pool is “the most politically prejudiced jury in the country,” according to a new motion filed by his defense.

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Kyle Fitzsimons, 37, was arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury in February for 10 charges including two counts of inflicting bodily injury on law enforcement. He was the first resident of Maine to be charged in connection to the January 6 attack, and Fitzsimons had pleaded not guilty.

The motion argues that the case should not be held in the U.S. capital because the facts are centered around former President Donald Trump and his supporters. It continues that there will be favorable statements made about Trump but they are “adverse to Democrat political interests.”

In request to move case from DC, Fitzsimons argues DC jurors are “barraged with political propoganda” by the media.. and criticizes President Biden for calling Jan 6 rioters “a bunch of thugs, insurrectionists, political extremists, & white supremacists”

— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 29, 2021

“The D.C. jury pool, already politically averse to Donald Trump supporters, has been barraged with political propaganda from U.S. politicians and coverage of the same by the media following the January 6 incident,” the court document states.

President Joe Biden was also criticized in the motion for referring to Trump supporters involved in the Capitol riot as “a group of thugs, insurrectionists, political extremists, and white supremacists.”

Fitzsimons’ team continued arguing that many people who attended the Stop the Steal Rally on January 6, regardless if they entered the U.S. Capitol, have been “‘canceled’ and fired just due to their association with the incident.”

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“The D.C. venire is polluted by the city’s political culture of ‘canceling’ those associated with allegations of ‘white supremacy,'” the motion states.

The defendant asked that the trial be moved to Maine because the jury in his home state won’t be as “prejudiced” as they are in Washington, D.C. Pasts requests from rioters asking for a change of venue have been denied.

A Maine man charged in connection to the January 6 Capitol riot is seeking a change of venue because the Washington, D.C., jury pool is “the most politically prejudiced jury in the country,” according to a new motion filed by his defense. Above, pro-Trump supporters storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

At the moment, more than 600 people across 40 states have been charged with participating in the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Federal prosecutors say that arrests occur almost daily.

According to an affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine when Fitzsimons was first arrested, he was seen pushing and grabbing officers who were maintaining a police line in an entryway on the lower west terrace of the Capitol building. After he was struck by an officer’s baton, Fitzsimons is accused of lowering his shoulder and charging into law enforcement.

Prosecutors identified Fitzsimons’ alleged participation using surveillance footage. The Maine man also gave multiple interviews about his experience in D.C. and claimed he was pushed into the police.

Fitzsimons’ legal team has made two requests for their client to be released from jail in D.C. and allowed to stay with his mother in Florida. However, a federal judge denied the latest request last month.

“When considering both Fitzsimons’ history of confrontational and threatening conduct in furtherance of his political views and his actions on January 6th, he has demonstrated a disregard for the safety of others and the rule of law,” U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote in the order. “Accordingly, no combination of pretrial release conditions could reasonably guarantee the safety of the community.”

A trial date has not yet been set.

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine for comment.

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