A Middle Tennessee man photographed carrying zip ties during the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol and his mother will remain in custody until their trials, under a ruling issued Thursday.
A court in Washington, D.C., ruled that Eric Munchel, 30, and Lisa Eisenhart, 56, can be held because they present “a serious threat to the community,” as both have expressed support for “violent revolt.”
“Munchel is alleged to have taken part in a mob, which displaced the elected legislature in an effort to subvert our constitutional government and the will of more than 81 million voters,” Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote in his opinion. “Storming the Capitol to disrupt the counting of electoral votes is not the akin to a peaceful sit-in.”
More: Read the judge’s ruling.
The ruling reverses a determination made last month by a judge in Tennessee, who ordered Munchel and Eisenhart to be released until trial. He noted that both had little previous criminal history and that they had surrendered to authorities voluntarily.
But government prosecutors succeeded in getting the case transferred to Washington before either could be released.
In Thursday’s ruling, Lamberth conceded that neither Munchel nor Eisenhart presents a serious flight risk because they don’t have passports. He also said that there was not much evidence that they had been involved in extremist groups before the riot, and that Munchel had even attempted to prevent vandalism of the Capitol by threatening to “break” anyone who did.
“While Munchel’s desire to prevent vandalism may be beneficial, his willingness to threaten violence evinces violent behavior,” Lamberth said.
Both, however, have tried to justify their actions at the Capitol, arguing even after the riot that the insurrection was in line with actions taken at the time of the American Revolution. Lamberth described a statement in which Eisenhart said she was willing to die for the cause as “chilling.”
“As a self-avowed, would-be martyr, she poses a clear danger to our republic.”