January 6 probationer appeals judge’s latest ‘disinformation’ monitoring order

A federal judge’s renewed order to monitor Jan. 6 probationer Daniel Goodwyn’s computers for alleged “disinformation” — already struck down once in 2024 — is headed back to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Senior Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on July 10 denied an emergency stay of his order to monitor Goodwyn’s computer, claiming his new mandate addresses the objections originally made by the Court of Appeals.

Defense attorney Carolyn Stewart filed an appeal a short time later with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, saying Judge Walton’s ruling does not follow the law and violates Goodwyn’s constitutionally protected right to free speech.

“The judge’s reasons don’t meet the standard required of computer use in or directly related to the crime, and particularly the Appeals Court’s order for ‘least restrictive means’ and constitutional protections,” Stewart told Blaze News.

Walton’s new monitoring order is the latest salvo in a war first triggered by Goodwyn’s March 2023 appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News. The judge accused Goodwyn of going on national television and spreading false information about Jan. 6 and minimizing his conduct that day.

Goodwyn, 35, of San Francisco, drew Walton’s ire at his sentencing hearing several months later when he tried to correct the judge’s own misstatements about Jan. 6.

“… To suggest that the only people who died that day were Trump supporters, that is just not true,” Walton said, according to the official court transcript.

Goodwyn tried to interject but was quickly slapped down.

“You are digging a hole for yourself,” Walton told him. “Keep on digging.”

In fact, the only people who died at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were Trump supporters. Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, was shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd as she climbed through a broken window at the entrance to the House Speaker’s Lobby.

Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, was beaten in the head and ribs with a hardened walking stick wielded by Metropolitan Police Department Officer Lila Morris, minutes after she collapsed at the mouth of the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. Her cause of death is hotly disputed between the medical examiner — who said acute amphetamine intoxication — and the Boyland family’s forensic pathologist — who said the death was from manual asphyxia.

Benjamin Philips, 50, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, died after collapsing from a stroke just after 1 p.m. Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama, died from a heart attack, although some claim he was struck by a police munition before collapsing.

Goodwyn was charged in a superseding indictment on Nov. 10, 2021, with felony obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

Security video shows Goodwyn entered the building through the Senate Wing Door at 3:32 p.m. and spent 36 seconds inside the Capitol.

On Jan. 31, 2023, Goodwyn accepted a plea bargain for one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, a charge carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

Judge Walton sentenced Goodwyn to 60 days behind bars followed by a year of supervised release. In his formal judgment issued June 15, 2023, Walton made monitoring of Goodwyn’s computer a special condition of his release from custody. Attorney Stewart filed an appeal of the computer monitoring provision on June 30.

On Feb. 1, 2024, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed Walton’s order, vacating the computer monitoring provision.

In the court’s per curiam ruling, Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia said Walton “plainly erred” by not considering whether the monitoring “was ‘reasonably related’ to the relevant sentencing factors and involved ‘no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary’ to achieve the purposes behind sentencing.”

The Court of Appeals sent the case back to Walton for “further proceedings.” It warned that if he sought again to impose computer monitoring on Goodwyn, he would need to explain his reasoning, develop the record in support of the decision, and ensure it is in accordance with sentencing guidelines and constitutional protections.

Stewart argued that computer use would have had to be a part of the trespassing crime of which Goodwyn was convicted. He “did not use a computer to do anything illegal before, on, or after January 6,” she said.

Stewart said the ongoing battle is really about suppressing constitutionally protected speech. Goodwyn was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 on behalf of the news website StopHate.com. He has contributed to several Jan. 6 documentaries that Walton and the U.S. Department of Justice have classified as “extremist media.”

In a May filing with the court, Stewart included an attachment with examples of police use of force on Jan. 6 to counter Walton’s stated belief that no police used excessive force on protesters that day.

“I have seen no evidence that would indicate to me — and I have seen hours and hours of the videos of what took place that day — I have seen nothing that would indicate that the police did anything that would indicate they were acting excessively,” Walton said at Goodwyn’s 2023 sentencing.

In her filing, Stewart cited the vicious beating of Victoria C. White, 42, of Rochester, Minnesota, who was struck in the head and face more than 40 times with a steel riot stick and fists by MPD inspector Jason Bagshaw and other police officers. She is suing MPD for $2 million for what the lawsuit describes as illegal deadly force.

Stewart also detailed the case of Derrick J. Vargo, 34, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, who was pushed from a high ledge on the Northwest Steps by a U.S. Capitol Police officer when he tried to unfurl a Trump flag just after 2 p.m. that day. Vargo fell some 20 feet, shattering his ankle and leaving him unable to do favorite activities such as skydiving. He is suing the U.S. Capitol Police.

She featured protester Joshua M. Black, 48, of Leeds, Alabama, who was shot in the face with a Capitol Police projectile at 1:06 p.m. after the deputy police chief bellowed into the radio for grenadiers to “launch, launch, launch!” Black bled profusely onto the concrete. Anger over the shooting resonated through the West Plaza crowd the rest of the afternoon.

“The Court wanted to add itself as a content and viewpoint censor for Mr. Goodwyn without legal cause, while only hearing the misinformation and partial truths that the DOJ and legacy media disseminate,” Stewart wrote in a May court filing.

Stewart has referred to Judge Walton as the “Ministry of Truth.”

Walton’s new monitoring order largely repeats his previous statements accusing Goodwyn of using social media to push “false narratives” and continuing to “deny responsibility for his actions.”

The order is imposed “to ensure that he does not traffic in any content that inspired the conduct that he and others engaged in on January 6, 2021,” the judge wrote.

Walton also asserted that Goodwyn “has been treated for mental health issues in the past that appear to have contributed to his decision to engage in criminal conduct.”

Stewart said that statement is false. Goodwyn has high-functioning autism, which is not a mental illness, she said.

“Our sentencing memo addressed his autism and relying on social cues and signals, such as police allowing building entry,” Stewart told Blaze News. “The memo made clear it is not a mental illness.”

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