William McCall Calhoun Jr., a Georgia attorney proud of his involvement in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol Complex, was denied bail in thundering terms by a federal court on Thursday after the judge determined he was a threat to the community.
“He has been corrupted by, or seduced, by a dangerous and violent ideology that considers the United States to be in a state of civil war, that considers everyone who voted for a Democrat to be worthy of execution, that considers every government official and agent to be part of a ‘deep state’ who need to be opposed by so-called patriots,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle intoned near the end of Calhoun’s bail hearing after denying the defense request for home confinement and GPS monitoring in lieu of pre-trial detention.
“The language used in those posts is extremely violent,” the judge added–referring to a series of Twitter, Facebook and Parler posts authored by the Americus, Georgia-based attorney of some 30 years.
In one post cited by the government, Calhoun wrote of his desire to place Black Lives Matter protesters in “body bags.” He said he wanted those racial justice advocates “stacked up high.”
“Standing by and when Trump makes the call, many heavily-armed patriots [will deal with] the Chicom Democrats,” another post said. “Oh yeah, the military and police are on our side.”
Calhoun also repeatedly expressed his desire for “violent retribution against the media and the Democrats,” and told one Black Lives Matter supporter on Twitter that they “won’t be laughing when patriots go door to door executing you commies.”
One such post, apparently taking up white knight status for the honor of Tiffany Trump, Calhoun promised “headshots” for certain members of the media who were apparently poking fun at her.
“God is on Trump’s side,” the veteran lawyer wrote in a separate post. “God is not on the Democrats’ side. And if patriots have to kill 60 million of these communists, it is God’s will.”
“Think ethnic cleansing but it’s anti-communist cleansing,” he added.
“We’ve got to get serious about stopping them with the force of arms,” Calhoun said in yet another post cited by the government. “I’m a lawyer saying these things.”
Defense attorney Timothy Saviello forcefully defended his client throughout the proceedings, honing in on what he argued were exaggerations by the FBI and the apparent lack of evidence linking his client to violent acts against other people. The social media posts, he said, were simply “partisan, loud, rhetorical comments.”
“Words do not equal action,” Saviello said in a bid to counter the government’s claim that Calhoun is “dangerous to this community.”
The defense also noted that Calhoun has several outstanding cases in which he is representing his own clients in order to argue that the admitted participant in the Capitol Hill siege was not a flight risk.
But it was ultimately all for naught.
“Sometime over the past 30 years,” said Judge Weigle, referring to Calhoun’s lawyering, “something has changed.”
“Because of the corrupting and dangerous ideology that has poisoned this man’s mind, I wouldn’t trust him to do anything I told him to do,” the court remarked. “He probably considers me scum who deserves a ‘headshot.’ So, no, I’m not gonna release him.”
The court lengthily expounded upon the widely-accepted notion that the U.S. Capitol constitutes something akin to sacred grounds.
“When you and your friends went in there and tore the place to shreds, killed five people, including a police officer, you showed that there was nothing that would hold you back except force,” Weigle said. “That’s why we had 25,000 National Guard members at our inauguration yesterday, a shame and a scandal for our entire country.”
“And if you don’t respect the Capitol Police, if you don’t respect the Capitol Building of the United States, there’s no reason to believe you would respect anything I would tell you to do,” the judge continued. “I have no comfort in sending a probation officer to your house to meet with you. I would be afraid for their life, I would be afraid for my life with what you’ve said and what you’ve done.”
When tendering his decision, however, Weigle also said the evidence was clear and weighed severely against the defendant.
“The biggest issue is: you were in the Capitol,” he said, addressing Calhoun. “We’ve seen the video. You bragged about it. You passed a sacred, sacred line. That was an act of extreme violence.”
Calhoun previously admitted to–and bragged about–his involvement in the riot during an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I would freely admit that I trespassed, but I did it for the love of my country,” he told the newspaper. “This was civil disobedience. Anyone who claims it was anything other than civil disobedience was not there, and they did not see it and they do not know.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, Calhoun made his first court appearance last Friday. He was charged with three federal crimes and faces over 20 years in prison.
When all was said and done, the defense lodged necessary and perfunctory objections with the court.
A grand jury proceeding is currently in the offing over Calhoun’s major charge of tampering with an official proceeding by trying to obstruct the counting of electoral college votes.
[image via screengrab/11Alive/Twitter]
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