The grinning Capitol Hill rioter seen in viral social media images walking away with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern during last week’s chaos, “is not going to be attending the inauguration," said his lawyer, admitting that his will be a difficult case to defend.
Adam Christian Johnson, 36, who belongs to Florida, was released on Monday on a bond of $25,000. He was taken into custody last Friday on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and theft of government property, like other rioters.
According to a report in Tampa Bay Times, assistant US Attorney Patrick Scruggs expressed concern that Mr Johnson would attend the inauguration event, emphasising that he is to travel only for court purposes. The report also said the case will be handled in Washington DC, however, restrictions on his travel remain in place till his case is pending.
Mr Johnson is supposed to attend the next court hearing on 19 January, a day before president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
However, his lawyer Dan Eckhart said that Mr Johnson will not try to attend the inauguration.
“I can assure you he is not going to be attending the inauguration,” the report quoted Mr Eckhart as saying.
The second of the two lawyers representing Mr Johnson, David Bigney, said that the father of four had been receiving death threats and would “like to just get home to his family.”
Mr Johnson, whose photos carrying the lectern were widely circulated, became one of the most prominent faces of the chaos that erupted in DC last Wednesday. His lawyers acknowledged that it is going to be difficult to defend.
“I don’t know how else to explain that, but yeah, that would be a problem,” the Tampa Bay Times quoted Mr Eckhart as saying.
“I’m not a magician, and neither is Mr Bigney. We’ve got a photograph of our client in what appears to be inside the federal building, inside the Capitol, with government property,” he said.
More than 160 case files have been opened in relation to the Capitol riots and 70 people have been charged so far, said Michael Sherwin, US Attorney for the District of Columbia in a press conference on Tuesday.
The law enforcement agencies have also scaled up their security arrangements ahead of the inauguration following the Capitol riot last week, according to reports.