The accused U.S. Capitol rioter known as the “zip-tie guy” asked a federal judge on Thursday to unbind his pretrial conditions keeping him from calling his Congress-storming mom on Mother’s Day.
One of the most visible participants of the Jan. 6th siege, Eric Munchel was photographed on that day in military gear, carrying plastic handcuffs and roaming around the Senate chamber. Munchel claimed that he harvested the flexicuffs that Capitol police left behind and had no plans to use them. Prosecutors claimed that he could have used them for taking hostages if he came across any lawmakers, but they did not allege to have discovered any plans for doing so. Munchel went into the Capitol on that day with his mother Lisa Marie Eisenhart.
Initially kept in pre-trial detention, both won their release from jail following a D.C. Circuit ruling relaxing the standards for releasing accused Capitol rioters before trial.
But that release came with strict conditions forbidding either from contacting anyone connected to their cases—including each other.
The three-page release order stated they must “avoid all contact, directly or indirectly, with any person who is or may be a victim or witness in the investigation or prosecution, including: codefendants except through counsel or as otherwise authorized by Pretrial Services.”
“Mr. Munchel’s codefendant is his mother, Lisa Eisenhart,” lawyer Sandra Roland, his public defender, noted in an unopposed motion for the holiday phone call.
“Mr. Munchel has not communicated with his mother since January 10, 2021,” her motion continues. “He would like to call his mother on Mother’s Day.”
Roland requested authorization from the Nashville, Tennessee Pretrial Services Agency for such a phone call, whose representative asked her to seek permission from Senior U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth.
“Pursuant to the spirit of the Court’s release order, Mr. Munchel agrees to refrain from discussing any aspect of the case during a Mother’s Day call with his mother,” the motion states.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Goemaat does not oppose that, she added.
Read the request to the judge here:
(Screenshot from court papers)
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