“Abundance of Jan. 6 Evidence Collides With Suspects’ Right to Speedy Trials”

Alan Feuer at the New York Times:

As the case of Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a suspect in the Jan. 6 riot, was poised in late July to drag into its seventh month without much progress, the presiding judge lost patience with the prosecutor.

The government, he suggested, had created a kind of vicious circle.

Mr. Hale-Cusanelli, a Hitler impersonator accused of storming the Capitol, was in jail awaiting trial even as prosecutors kept filing charges against new defendants in the riot. The more arrests that were made, the judge, Trevor N. McFadden, reasoned, the more evidence generated that needed to be given to the defense; and the more evidence that had to be turned over, the longer it would take to resolve Mr. Hale-Cusanelli’s case.

Trying to assuage Judge McFadden, the prosecutor noted that the investigation of Jan. 6 was a uniquely challenging ordeal and that handing over all of this so-called discovery material was an important part of the legal process.

The judge was not impressed. “Freedom is also important,” he shot back.

That exchange was emblematic of a legal tension simmering in a number of cases stemming from the Capitol attack. It has, in essence, pitted the government’s herculean efforts to gather and organize the evidence collected in its sprawling investigation of the riot against the constitutional right of defendants to speedy trials.

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