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A judge slapped down Oath Keepers accused of joining the Capitol riot for citing anti-vaxx conspiracy theories in their legal filings

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A collage of two images from surveillance footage from the January 6 riot. Left, a yelling man in a crowd is circled in red, who the FBI say is Kenneth Harrelson. Right, a person in the Capitol rotunda has been pointed out with a red arrow, identifying him as Kelly Meggs, according to the FBI

Surveillance footage of the Capitol riots showing Kenneth Harrelson (left, circled) and Kelly Meggs (right, arrow), according to the DOJ. DOJ

  • Men awaiting trial over the Capitol riot cited anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories in a court filing.

  • They said they were being pressured to get vaccinated in jail and argued for their release.

  • The judge slammed them for pushing “fringe views” and denied their request.

A judge shut down Two Oath Keepers awaiting trial over the Capitol riot in their attempt to secure pre-trial release by citing anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories.

A lawyer for Kenneth Harrelson and Kelly Meggs on Saturday asked go over a page limit for a proposed motion arguing the defendants were being pressured to get the COVID-19 vaccine in jail as they await trial.

The two men are charged on numerous counts, including conspiracy and destruction of government property in relation to the riot on January 6, to which they plead not guilty, court documents show.

In Saturday’s court documents seen by Insider, lawyer Brad Geyer asked to file a 145-page motion in the men’s case.

He said the two had “resisted incessant and continual efforts to break them and force them to receive” the COVID-19 vaccine in custody. He did not go into specifics.

While Meggs claimed to be medically exempt, for Harrelson the vaccine represents a “crisis of faith,” Geyer wrote. “Both men believe the COVID-19 vaccines present health risks … [they] will argue that these are reasons they should be immediately released,” he continued.

Judge Amit P. Mehta said in his scathing response Tuesday that the DC Department of Corrections does not force anyone to get a vaccine, according to Law and Crime.

He told them to limit their filing to five pages instead of 145, adding: “The court will not allow this case to become a forum for bombastic arguments […] or propagating fringe views about COVID-19 or vaccinations,” the outlet reported.

Geyer included a lengthy itemized outline of the defendants’ intended arguments, including reference to the medical principle of “informed consent.” Anti-vaxxers often baselessly contend that people are incapable of consenting to the vaccines because authorities are concealing what they really contain.

Chapter headings also alluded to various conspiracy theorist allegations, including “Patents Hinting At Undisclosed Ingredients,” regulatory “Sleights of Hand,” “C19 Conspiracy Structure,” and “A Human Experiment Unlike Any Other.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, the risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccines are rare and far outweighed by their benefits. The CDC says that the COVID-19 vaccine is monitored under “the most intensive safety monitoring in US history.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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