Lawyer John Pierce, who is representing more than a dozen 6 January rioters, is reportedly on a ventilator in hospital with Covid-19 after saying that he would never get vaccinated.
Mr Jenkins’ previous attorney, Public Defender Maria Jacob, started the hearing by saying that she suspected her client had replaced her with Mr Pierce’s firm. Mr Pierce’s colleague Ryan Marshall, a lawyer not barred in DC but who still handled Mr Pierce’s appearance in DC court the day before, confirmed this version of events, independent journalist Marcy Wheeler reported on her blog.
Mr Marshall added that the notice of appearance he believed to have been filed the previous evening had not yet appeared on the docket.
Judge Amit Mehta asked where Mr Pierce was.
“Mr Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with Covid-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive,” Mr Marshall told the judge, who then scheduled a hearing for next Thursday.
According to Ms Wheeler, Mr Pierce now represents 18 accused 6 January rioters.
On 17 August, Mr Pierce tweeted: “The entire 82nd Airborne couldn’t make me get an experimental government vaccine stuck in my arm.”
On 4 July, he wrote on the platform that an army vaccine mandate was “a final-phase designed-purge of Patriotic Americans from the Army. Prepare for anything and everything at this point. This goes deeper than anything I thought even a few months ago. No one should be taking any of these vaccines, least of all the military”.
On 23 March, he tweeted: “I personally think anyone who trusts the government to shoot some vague, unknown 'vaccine' in their arm for a virus with origin of a CCP biological weapons lab is taking a very big risk.”
The Daily Beastreported earlier this month that Mr Pierce had turned himself into a lawyer representing clients whose alleged offences had caught the conservative zeitgeist as he faces increasing financial difficulties.
Previously a civil attorney, he was fired from representing Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse because of a financial disagreement, but now represents more clients accused of crimes in relation to the 6 January riot than any other attorney.
“We are going to take every one of these cases to trial, we are going to seek full acquittals, and in that process, we are going to find out what actually happened on January 6,” Mr Pierce said at a rally in June.
He said during a Capitol riot hearing that he intended to use the “public authority defence,” pitching an argument that the government, in this case, then-President Donald Trump, had legally greenlit their crimes.
“He’s not a defence attorney, and therefore he’s not an especially good defence attorney and it would take a tremendously good defence attorney to make a good public authority defence,” Ms Wheeler told The Daily Beast.“That’s why nobody else is trying it.”