For his part in what is being called the largest criminal case in U.S. history, self-proclaimed journalist Shawn Bradley Witzemann had his initial hearing in front of a federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. He is facing charges stemming from the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Bradley appeared via Zoom, along with several other defendants facing similar charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and demonstrating in a Capitol building. While the charges are misdemeanors, Bradley is facing up to a year in prison if convicted.
Bradley’s hearing was quite short, as Judge Michael Harvey set the conditions of his release. The judge ordered Bradley to remain in New Mexico pending a trial.
The FBI said Witzemann, who says he travels to protests to provide video coverage for a podcast called “The Armenian Council for Truth in Journalism,” walked into the Capitol, made his way to the building’s rotunda and shot video with his phone until an officer told him to leave.
Before entering the building, authorities say Witzemann tried to climb scaffolding to get a better view of the crowd, but an officer told him to come down.
Facebook has taken down Bradley’s personal profile since he turned himself in to the FBI on April 7. Since then, he continues to appear in podcasts posted on the alt-right media group’s social media he claims to be a citizen journalist with.
In the most recent podcast episode, which aired on April 13, the hosts talk about Bradley’s arrest and subsequent charges. Bradley was quite heated, as were the rest of the group. “Let me just clarify, I’m not f*@cking sorry, I’m not apologizing. I’m not ashamed of what I did that day,” Bradley said. “The reality is, I did what I did. I’m not ashamed, and now I’m taking a stand.” He went on to say, “We’re engaged in a battle we didn’t want to fight. What are you left to do but fight for your freedom? There’s a ridiculous political movement right now that seeks to take me away from my children, and I’m pissed.”
Bradley is scheduled for his preliminary hearing in front of Judge Harvey on May 4.