The attorney best known for representing right-wing radio jockey Alex Jones against families of Sandy Hook victims has a new client—one facing the most serious allegations leveled to date in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Norman Pattis, the lawyer known for representing Jones and employees of Jones’s company InfoWars, filed a notice Tuesday of his intention to represent Joseph R. Biggs, a member of the Proud Boys extremist group charged with seditious conspiracy alongside Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.
“The undersigned gives notice of his appearance on behalf of the Defendant, Joseph R. Biggs,” the tersely-worded filing says.
Pattis himself had somewhat more to say when asked why he is joining the case.
“I was asked to help, and I have agreed to do so,” Pattis told Law&Crime in an email. “It seems like a righteous fight. I am happy to be part of the team.”
Pattis added that he isn’t replacing Biggs’ current lawyer Dan Hull, but that the two will be working together.
Biggs has been linked to what is believed to be the first breach of a police line on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. According to a superseding indictment filed earlier this month, Biggs had a brief exchange with a man since identified as Ryan Samsel at an area of the Capitol Grounds known as the Peace Circle.
Samsel and his co-defendants are accused of assaulting police officers at the Peace Circle, including Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“Seconds before 12:53 p.m., Biggs was approached by an individual whose identity is known to the grand jury,” Biggs’ indictment said. “The individual put one arm around Biggs’s shoulder and spoke to him,” the indictment continues. “Approximately one minute later, this individual crossed the barrier that restricted access to the Capitol.”
Edwards corroborated this account. The House committee has theorized that the actions of Biggs, Samsel, and others at the Peace Circle essentially opened the floodgates, providing an example for other rioters who would eventually overwhelm police and storm the building.
Samsel has denied that such an exchange between him and Biggs ever occurred.
Pattis has already gotten involved in both civil and criminal cases related to Jan. 6. He currently represents Jonathon Owen Shroyer, an InfoWars host accused of a handful of misdemeanors in connection with the Jan. 6 siege.
In January, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, dismissed Shroyer’s motion to dismiss the charges; at the time, Pattis hinted that he intended to file a motion raising a First Amendment argument on Shroyer’s behalf, and indeed Shroyer currently has a second motion to dismiss pending before the court.
As Jones’ attorney, Pattis has defended his client in civil lawsuits stemming from Jones’ repeated claims that the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School didn’t happen. Families of the victims have sued Jones for defamation in multiple states, although Pattis has recently moved to withdraw himself from that case, in a move the families say is yet another effort by Jones to avoid accountability.
Pattis also represented Jones in his December 2021 lawsuit against the House Jan. 6 committee, an effort to avoid submitting to the committee’s subpoena.
[Image of Norm Pattis via Law&Crime network screengrab; image of Joseph Biggs via FBI court filing.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]