A U.S. Magistrate Judge on Thursday ruled a QAnon adherent arrested in connection with last week’s deadly protests at the capitol building in Washington, D.C., should not be released from bail before his trial.
On the day of the U.S. Capitol siege, that man, Cleveland Grover Meredith, Jr. received a text message from an undisclosed person stating “Pence blew it.” Meredith replied with two words: “War time.” That’s according to court papers seeking his continued pretrial detention.
Prosecutors note that Meredith never made it to the riot; rather, he arrived late to the insurrection. He drove his truck from Colorado to the nation’s capital, only to be intercepted by authorities who found an enormous stash of weapons in his vehicle after learning of his alleged threat to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Meredith’s chilling words became public in court papers on Wednesday, including his floating an assassination plot against Pelosi: “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi CUNT’s speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
“If I had a more concerning threats case before me, I do not remember it,” Judge G. Michael Harvey ruled, adding that the alleged actions qualify as a “crime of violence.”
The decision fell a day after outgoing President Donald Trump‘s second impeachment for inciting an insurrection.
Imagining a conversation with a hypothetical FBI agent surveilling his communications, Meredith allegedly seethed: “You get that one Mr. Marxist FBI Agent? Go FK yourself.”
Pelosi wasn’t the only female politician against whom prosecutors believe Meredith targeted misogynist rage: “I may wander over to the [office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser] and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG cunt.”
Meredith’s public defender, Ubong Akpan, argued that her client has been charged with a statute criminalizing threats to kidnap, which she claimed would not meet the threshold of a “crime of violence” under the relevant precedent.
Finding that unconvincing, Harvey said: “A threat to trick someone into being kidnapped, that makes no sense to me.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmet Baset said Meredith traveled from Colorado to D.C. in order to “participate in a violent insurrection” on Jan. 6, which the prosecutor called one of the most “hellish” days in the history of our nation’s capital.
Though defense attorney Akpan claimed her client intended his messages as a “joke,” prosecutors noted that the physical evidence suggests otherwise. Meredith wrote that he wanted to use “armor piercing bullets,” a form of ammunition that “just so happened” to be found in his vehicle, the prosecutor noted.
Baset added that the claim was also inconsistent with Meredith’s FBI interview.
Asked by the FBI about whether his threats were serious or a joke, Meredith replied: “It’s a little of both,” according to Baset.
“Clearly this is someone who relished in the carnage,” Baset told the judge, referring to his reaction to the assault on the Capitol. “He relished [it], even after seeing what had happened.”
During his short time in Washington, D.C., Meredith assaulted a city resident whom he head-butted in an act of “road rage” and then called someone the N-word, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors revealed that Meredith believed in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
[image via government exhibit in the case U.S. v. Meredith]
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