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U.S. moves to dismiss charges against a Capitol riots defendant

imageWorld32 minutes ago (Jun 01, 2021 01:21PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Tuesday took the unusual step of asking a judge to dismiss the criminal charges against Christopher M. Kelly, a defendant who was facing charges stemming from the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a court filing, prosecutors said they had “discussed the merits of the case” with Kelly’s defense counsel. “Upon reflection of the facts currently known to the government, the government believes that dismissal without prejudice at this time serves the interests of justice,” they wrote.

The filing did not offer details on why the government wants the case dismissed.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a defense attorney for Kelly declined immediate comment.

Kelly was one of more than 400 people to face charges in connection with the riots on Jan. 6, in which throngs of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.

Kelly was facing charges of obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, unlawful entry and disorderly conduct. A judge still must sign off before the charges can be dropped.

According to the original complaint, a confidential source who was paid by the FBI in exchange for information tipped law enforcement off about Kelly by providing posts and information from Kelly’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page which appeared to show him informing associates he had breached the Capitol.

U.S. moves to dismiss charges against a Capitol riots defendant

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