Tucker Carlson defended the Capitol Riot suspect who was pictured wearing zippered handcuffs.
Carlson said a judge’s earlier characterization of him as dangerous was misleading.
The host has long sought to portray the riot response as an attempt to persecute the Tories.
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended Eric Munchel on Tuesday, who prosecutors identified as the man pictured in the US Senate chamber in tactical gear with zipper handcuffs during the Capitol Riot.
The image became one of the defining scenes of the January 6 unrest. He was later arrested along with his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, also accused of storming the Capitol.
In a monologue Tuesday night, Carlson criticized a judge’s decision to keep the couple in custody until their trial because they were deemed dangerous. The decision was later overturned by a different judge and the two were released under house arrest last week.
“Neither Lisa Eisenhart nor her son damaged any property on the Capitol or committed violence – they just walked into what we called the People’s House,” Carlson said.
“And yet Joe Biden’s Justice Department convinced a federal judge that Lisa Eisenhart was citing“ a threat to our Republic ”and that her son was a“ potential martyr. ”Keep in mind that these are people whose the crime was trespassing on the Capitol. We don’t agree with that, but some perspective please. “
Munchel and Eisenhart have both been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds; conspiracy; and civil disorder. They deny the charges.
Both men were released last week to await trial under house arrest in Tennessee. They were allowed out of custody thanks to a decision of a federal appeals court, which drew a distinction between violent and non-violent rioters, the Associated Press reported.
The ruling overturned a ruling by a U.S. District Judge, who said the two were extremists, too dangerous to be released.
Federal agents had investigated whether Munchel or others wearing zip ties planned to take hostages. No evidence of such plans has emerged publicly, The Washington Post reported.
Munchel argued in court documents that he found the zippered handcuffs on a table inside the Capitol and took them away to make sure they were not used by police to restrain protesters and do not enter while wearing them.
According to the AP, prosecutors allege that Munchel and Eisenhart wore tactical bulletproof vests during the assault on the Capitol, that Munchel carried a stun gun and that the two men had hidden weapons in a bag outside the building before entering.
Carlson has long sought to portray the reaction to the January 6 violence as exaggerated and the pressure from the Biden administration to quell right-wing extremism as a covert attempt to persecute mainstream conservatives.
Michael Sherwin, a federal prosecutor who led the Capitol Riot investigation until March, told CBS News that the Department of Justice was pursuing 400 criminal cases related to the riot.
He said that of those defendants “the majority of them, 80, 85%, maybe even 90” had been charged with non-violent offenses but that 100 were also charged with violence against the police. He also said 25 people were charged with destruction of federal property and more than 25 with conspiracy.
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