Capitol rioter 'surprised' prosecutors by taking unauthorized trip to CPAC


A U.S. Capitol rioter misled prosecutors about a recent visit to Washington, D.C., attending the Conservative Political Action Conference without permission and boasting about it on social media, according to a new court filing.

Prosecutors accused Gabriel Garcia, an accused Proud Boys member who filmed himself taunting then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 insurrection, of lying about his reason for returning to Washington. Instead of conducting business associated with his trial, he went to CPAC in nearby National Harbor, Maryland, the prosecutors say.

And they intend to refuse his additional requests for travel.

"The government is surprised by defendant’s whereabouts on his recent trip," wrote U.S. attorney Matthew Graves in the filing. "The government consented to defendant’s travel out of Florida to Washington, D.C. for the limited stated purpose of attending trial and meeting with counsel. It appears, however, that the exigent circumstance warranting defendant’s numerous last-minute requests to travel to Washington, D.C. on these precise dates was for the purpose of attending CPAC DC 23 – not watching trial."

Garcia had told pretrial services he would be driving to the District of Columbia in an RV, but his social media indicates he traveled by private jet, although prosecutors expressed doubts, and he also violated a court order by meeting at the conference with a fellow rioter Joseph "Pi Anon" Thomas.

"The issue is not that defendant attended a political event," Graves wrote. "The real problem is that defendant has repeatedly demonstrated that his representations to the Court should be doubted. Where he purports to need to watch a January 6 trial to make decisions about his own case, in reality, he used “watching trial” as a pretext for attending an out-of-state conference that featured a panel of January 6 defendants ... and personally meeting at least one such individual."

Garcia indicated on social media that he had grown tired of visiting the "circus district" in Washington and mocked mocked prosecutors' communications with his attorney and lashed out at jurors in the trial he briefly observed involving another Jan. 6 defendant.

"I got tired of the false prosecution and looking at that Jury panel that all look like they belong on some MSNBC panel with their double masks," Garcia posted, "made me sick so I decided to exit and leave the f*cking district for good. Any further questions???"

Prosecutors complained that Garcia had previously misled them about his travel while awaiting his own trial and said they would oppose all future requests.

"Because this defendant has continually taken advantage of the permissiveness of the Court with deceptive travel requests, and takes to social media to mock the process, it is apparent that defendant does not appreciate the gravity of the situation he is in and he does not respect this Court’s authority," Graves wrote.

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