By Jaanvi Kaur
PHILADELPHIA, PA–The Philly District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Monday asked a Philadelphia Court to hold a man for criminal contempt after discovering he allegedly participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection planning meeting that led to the federal indictments of others at that meeting.
The DAO has already charged Joshua Macias with firearm crimes and attempting to interfere with the 2020 Presidential election where election workers were canvassing votes outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The DAO has filed motions to revoke his bail, because Macias has repeatedly violated conditions set by the courts restricting his use of social media and rally activity.
The Commonwealth accused Macias of violating the court’s pre-trail conditions in the bail revocation motion, by posting his support for the state legislative candidate in Texas, Bianca Garcia, on social media.
Federal authorities claim they found information placing both Garcia and Macias at a meeting in Washington, D.C., in an underground parking garage.
This meeting took place the day prior to the insurrection at the Capitol, and included the company of Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the violent extremist group Oath Keepers, and the leader of the violent extremist group Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio.
In January of this year, Rhodes, along with 10 other members of the Oath Keepers, were federally charged for seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021.
Earlier this month, Enrique Tarrio and four other members of the Proud Boys were federally charged for seditious conspiracy for participation in the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.
Seditious conspiracy is considered the most serious charge federal authorities have brought against alleged participants of insurrection thus far.
Monday, ahead of a scheduled contempt hearing this Friday, the District Attorney filled a motion to hold Macias in criminal contempt of his state charges, to find him guilty and sentence him to the maximum penalty of five months and 29 days of incarceration.
Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner said “the crimes we alleged against Joshua Macias were always extremely serious, and as prosecutors we have an obligation to continuously review this case as new facts and information come to light.”
Krasner added, “What we now allege is as follows: Macias, heavily armed, travelled from Virginia to Philadelphia on Nov. 5, 2020, in an effort to interfere with the counting of presidential votes, motivated by his anti-democratic wish to preserve the power of Donald Trump, who lost re-election decisively.
“One month later, after he was released on cash bail over the Commonwealth’s objection, Macias attended a small, secretive meeting that included two persons now federally indicted for seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol insurrection,” said the DA.
DA Krasner said, “Macias also participated in the Capitol insurrection, where he was captured on video declaring then-Vice President Mike Pence a ‘Benedict Arnold’ and that ’traitors were within’ while a functional gallows was erected outside the Capitol building. Crowds chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ around that time.
“The Commonwealth has previously alleged Macias’ participation on Jan. 6 was a violation of his bail conditions, and that his bail should be revoked and he should be detained pre-trial.”
“Given all that we now know and can infer about what Joshua Macias intended—from the time he travelled loaded for bear from Virginia to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, to his participation in a clandestine, pre-insurrection parking garage meeting in Washington, D.C., to his actions on the Capitol grounds themselves on Jan. 6—we must act,” said Krasner.
“It is logical to infer that Joshua Macias participated in what is likely the greatest crime ever perpetuated against American democracy…Macias’ disdain and contempt for American democracy and our institutions including the courts is clear. We respectfully request that the Court find him in contempt and order him detained for the maximum penalty of five months and 29 days incarceration in Philadelphia County immediately,” Krasner argued.