Appeals Court Vacates 'Disinformation' Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Apr 07, 2024 - 11:50 PM

Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A sentencing requirement that Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn have his computer monitored by the government for “disinformation” has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Courtesy of J6 Patriot News)

The court on March 26 published a mandate sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to remove the computer monitoring requirement he issued as part of the sentencing judgment in the case on June 15, 2023.

Judge Walton had no legal basis to issue the special condition,” Carolyn Stewart, Mr. Goodwyn’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in an April 3 email.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the judge “plainly erred” in imposing the computer monitoring. Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia issued a per curiam order vacating the monitoring provision.

Judge Walton, when imposing a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023, said Mr. Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023. Judge Walton ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release.

The judge also referred to Mr. Goodwyn spreading alleged “misinformation,” using the term interchangeably with “disinformation.”

Mr. Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The charge could have meant up to a year in prison.

60 Days Behind Bars

On June 6, 2023, Judge Walton sentenced Mr. Goodwyn to 60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, and a $500 restitution payment.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 90 days in jail, 36 months of supervised release, a $25,676 fine, and $500 in restitution. The recommended fine amount represented proceeds of a GiveSendGo web page Mr. Goodwyn uses to raise funds for his legal fees.

Mr. Goodwyn asked for a sentence of time served with three months of supervised release. He received credit for three weeks he spent in pretrial detention, but not for the 13 months he spent in home detention. He completed his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023.

Daniel Goodwyn of Corinth, Texas, speaks with live-streamer Baked Alaska inside the Senate Wing Door at just before 3:33 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Capitol Police/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Mr. Goodwyn said the Court of Appeals made the correct decision.

“Judge Walton’s imposition of the computer monitoring restriction is inconsistent with American law and tradition,” Mr. Goodwyn told The Epoch Times. “It’s unbelievable, in my opinion, that he would unlawfully order feds to spy on me in direct violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, under threat of locking me back up in prison.”

Mr. Goodwyn was arrested on Jan. 29, 2021, in Sherman, Texas. He was charged in a superseding indictment on Nov. 10, 2021, with obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a 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.

Mr. Goodwyn said he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as a citizen journalist for He entered the building through the Senate Wing Door at 3:32 p.m. and spent 36 seconds inside the Capitol, security video shows.

Prosecutors and the judge faulted Mr. Goodwyn for using a bullhorn on Jan. 6 “to incite other rioters to go into the Capitol,” and saying “we need critical mass for this to work.” They said Mr. Goodwyn evaded a police officer’s attempt to stop him from entering and initially ignored the officer’s command to exit the building.

Ms. Stewart said her client was inside the Capitol for less than a minute, did not assault anyone or vandalize property.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Walton criticized Mr. Goodwyn for having the “false impression” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. “And there is just no proof whatsoever that that was, in fact, the case,” the judge said, according to the official court transcript for the June 6 portion of the hearing.

It was Mr. Goodwyn’s appearance on Mr. Carlson’s Fox News program that drew some of the sharpest fire from Judge Walton. He called Mr. Carlson a “lightning rod” who “has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive.”

Mr. Carlson gave the impression “that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ‘21 have been treated unfairly,“ the judge said. ”And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.”

When being interviewed by Mr. Carlson, Mr. Goodwyn “made no attempt to correct the record,” Judge Walton said. “And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.”

The judge said Mr. Goodwyn “could have come clean and indicated exactly what he did when Tucker Carlson was minimizing the extent of what he did. Because he did more than what Tucker Carlson indicated. And he didn’t say anything to correct that.”

Protesters clash with police and security forces at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Monitoring and Inspection’

The judge said Mr. Goodwyn should be monitored during his supervised release to determine if he is spreading disinformation on social media.

“…Since he has used social media in order to provide what I consider to be disinformation about this situation,” the judge said, “I would require that he permit his computer use to be subject to monitoring and inspection by the probation department to see if he is, in fact, disseminating information of the nature that relates to the events that resulted in what occurred on January 6th of 2021.”

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