This development is an indication of the cautious approach the Justice Department is taking under the direction of current Attorney General Merrick Garland, a former appeals judge, and how he may try to steer his agency away from the bold political maneuvering that has marked the Trump era.
It also sets an early tone in Capitol riot issues and future media coverage, as a federal judge complained about the Chiron interview and the New York Times story.
“The rules and procedures were not complied with” when Sherwin gave the interview, John Crab, Jr., a senior criminal attorney in the US Attorney’s office in DC said.
In court on Tuesday, District Judge Amit Mehta warned the Department of Justice and the defense attorney of 10 defendants in the Capitol’s Oath Keepers conspiracy riot not to speak to the media.
Mehta called for an emergency hearing on Tuesday with the attorneys in the case, after the New York Times story about accusations of incitement likely in preparation and an interview with Sherwin on “60 Minutes”.
“The government, quite frankly, in my opinion, should know better,” Mehta said. This case will not be prosecuted in the media. “
Mehta added that he will not hesitate in the future to place a gag order on the high-profile case, explaining that he believes that the sources of the Ministry of Justice, whether recorded or anonymous, could become a problem if their comments could harm the jury.
In the “60 Minutes” interview, Sherwin largely repeated assertions he made in January that more serious charges could be brought with incitement against Capitol rioters who had worked together to prevent Congress from proving the loss of then-President Donald Trump.
But on Sunday, Sherwin was no longer the attorney general of the United States in the American capital, nor did he gain approval from his superiors at the Justice Department to speak publicly, CNN reported.
No charges have been brought against the rioters, and the Ministry of Justice has internal prohibitions on commenting on the ongoing investigations.
Krabbe said the Justice Department had forwarded anonymous comments to the media for investigation about the case. The newspaper quoted “law enforcement officials briefed on the proceedings” in a story that said investigators were weighing possible charges of incitement against members of the section guards.
The Professional Responsibility Unit within the Ministry of Justice is able to review the behavior of justice officials, and make recommendations on whether they should face the consequences.
It is not customary for prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice to comment on ongoing investigations or to proceed with what they may plan to charge in court.
Federal judges often demand more caution in high-profile cases to preserve the rights of defendants and to avoid influencing potential jurors if there is a trial.
Several Oath Keepers’ defense attorneys also told the judge on Tuesday that they had been contacted by “60 Minutes” several times before the clip aired.
A lawyer who spoke to The Times on behalf of one of the department guards apologized to the judge.
“I thought Mr. Sherwin’s comments were very biased,” defense attorney Carmen Hernandez said.
In another case on Tuesday, the leader of the Broad Boys in Seattle, Ethan Nordian promoted Sherwin’s remarks in which he said he should remain out of jail pending trial.
Nordian’s attorney did not elicit what Chiron’s comments meant for his defense – instead highlighting to the judge that Sherwin, while leading the investigation into the Capitol riots, had told prosecutors to build sedition cases, and that he assured the proud boys had a “plan.” ”
Nordian appeared in court briefly on Tuesday, along with another leader from the Broad Boys. Both plead not guilty. Judge Timothy Kelly has scheduled a more substantial hearing next week, during which prosecutors and Northern representatives will argue over whether he should be jailed.
None of the more than 300 defendants in the Capitol riot cases plead guilty at this time. The investigators explained that their work is continuing.
This story has been updated with additional information about the hearing.