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‘I will not bend the knee’: Trial begins for defiant J6 attendee

Strand faces 24 years in prison after rejecting plea deal

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Yudi Sherman

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September 22, 2022

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02:19 AM

‘I will not bend the knee’: Trial begins for defiant J6 attendee

Opening statements were made Tuesday in the trial of John Strand, a freedom activist being prosecuted for entering Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. Though he committed no violence or vandalism, Strand is facing a maximum of 24 years in prison after rejecting the prosecution’s plea deal, the first January 6th attendee to do so. 

“Jan6 is just the most recent political opportunity instigated and weaponized to target anyone departing from the regime’s approved narrative and their ruthless agenda, and to further terrorize and demoralize the public into instinctive self-censorship—intimidating them from even the thought of exercising independence and free speech,” says Strand on his website

Strand refuses to say that he knew that the Capitol building was closed to the public because, as he's claimed from the beginning, he did not know.  

When asked about Strand's refusal to plea to knowingly trespassing in order to get more serious charges dropped, attorney and Rabbi Dovid Smith responded, "I always tell my clients not to confess to something they didn't do, regardless of the prosecutors' promises." 

The jury trial is being seen by some as a referendum on the Biden administration’s January 6th theatre and whether the American people are a willing audience. A victory for Strand could also have legal implications for other January 6th attendees. 

But Strand told America’s Frontline News that the jury selection has been “frustrating.” 

“Literally every single one was very clearly, outwardly a dedicated ideologue of the Left and very clearly emotionally charged and intent on demonizing really anyone involved with their perspective of the J6 event, which they believe to be a violent insurrection against their hometown,” said Strand, formerly a top-ranking member of America’s Frontline Doctors.  

While the former Frontline Flash host hopes to have the trial in his hometown of Los Angeles before a jury of his peers, he is not holding his breath. 

Also among the odds Strand is facing is the presiding judge in the trial, Christopher “Casey” Cooper, a former attorney for the elite and a deeply entrenched D.C. Democrat. In July, Cooper also sentenced America’s Frontline Doctors Founder Dr. Simone Gold, who was with Strand at the Capitol. Cooper, who has been criticized for racism and misogyny, failed to recuse himself even though Dr. Gold had rejected his advances when they were both in law school. 

The prosecution has declared a total of nine witnesses, most of whom are Capitol police officers being called on to recount their experiences that day, though none of the testimony so far specifically involves Strand.  

In fact, Strand spoke positively of his interactions with police on January 6th.  

“I had no negative interactions with police officers,” says the civil rights activist. “I had a couple simple, positive interactions where they gave general instructions which I complied with, with no issue. They were actually helpful to me in the latter half of my time inside the Capitol building. It was very confusing and chaotic that entire time, so those police officers inside the building were very helpful in giving me instructions on how to safely exit the building when it was possible to do so.” 

The trial is dragging on longer than either the judge or prosecution expected, and Strand’s attorney Stephen Brennwald is likely to begin defense on Thursday. 

Strand says the government did not produce all the evidence in discovery. 

“They still haven’t provided all available evidence which, as a matter of law, is totally illegal. And the government just brushes over that like many other things that they do because they don’t actually care for the law if it’s not convenient to them.” 

But the writer/musician still holds out hope that the jury’s members will see him in the spirit of unity, as a fellow American. 

“I am praying for God’s supernatural grace and intervention to soften the hearts and minds of the twelve jurors. To understand there’s more to the story. To understand that I’m not who the government is telling them that I am. And that I'm an American citizen just like them – with perhaps different political opinions but the same desire for peace and prosperity for all of our country, and certainly no intentions or actionable steps in my life of doing anything criminally inappropriate or illegal.”  

Strand says he created his website, JohnStrand.com, not just to invite support but also "to inform and inspire and engage and activate people into taking action in their own lives, day by day, to make the right choice instead of the comfortable or convenient one.” 

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