Capitol stormer pleads not guilty

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 2/18/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Edward Jake Lang, the former Sullivan County resident who was arrested on January 16 for his alleged role in storming the Capitol Building, pleaded not guilty in federal …

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Capitol stormer pleads not guilty

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Edward Jake Lang, the former Sullivan County resident who was arrested on January 16 for his alleged role in storming the Capitol Building, pleaded not guilty in federal court on Tuesday, February 9.

Lang attended Honesdale High School for two years and graduated from Delaware Valley High School in Pike County, PA. He made national headlines last month when FBI agents arrested him at his residence in Newburgh, NY. Most notably, the source of much of the evidence against Lang seemed to be his own social media accounts, where he proudly documented his involvement in the pro-Trump demonstration that culminated in forcibly entering the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden.

Lang originally faced four charges for his actions that day; he is now facing 11, including assaulting law enforcement with a deadly weapon and engaging in physical violence on restricted grounds. There may be more charges to come.

According to court papers filed by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office, various pictures and videos show Lang at the front of a violent mob that spent more than two hours in a standoff with law enforcement officers as Trump supporters tried to force their way into the Capitol.

A 30-minute YouTube video titled “UNBELIEVABLE Footage | Trump Supporters Battle Cops Inside the Capitol” contains footage captured by an independent journalist in the midst of the clash. One internet user who submitted images and videos of Lang to the FBI points to this YouTube video saying, “You can see him in the whole video pretty much.”

Lang also identified himself among the crowd at the doors of the Capitol. In one online video taken from farther away, he edited a finger-point emoji above his head and wrote, “This is me.”

Prosecutors allege that online images and surveillance footage show that Lang used an aluminum baseball bat and a riot shield to assault law enforcement as he tried to enter the building. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson also wrote that a surveillance camera captured Lang “joining the large mob, pushing with all of their might against the officers and helping to protect other rioters with an apparently stolen riot shield as those rioters sprayed officers with chemical irritants, threw projectiles at them and attacked them with poles, sticks and other items.”

Jackson advocated for Lang’s continued detention, asking that he not be released on bail before his trial, citing “overwhelming evidence” against Lang as well as troubling posts that he made to social media regarding his plans following the riots.

In a recorded conversation that was posted to Twitter, Lang was asked, “What do you think happens next?”

“Guns... That’s it. One word,” Lang responded. “The First Amendment didn’t work, so we pull out the second... Dying for our rights is the only option that any person with a logical brain sees right now.”

According to national investigative news outlet ProPublica, Lang spent 10 days between the riot and his arrest “recruiting militia members to take up arms against the incoming Biden Administration” through the messaging app Telegram.

A reporter received an invitation from Lang to join the private group. Lang sent messages asking its members to recruit other “patriots” for the “militia” he was apparently attempting to build. The Telegram group grew to at least 200 members, with some volunteering as regional organizers in their part of the country. ProPublica reported that Lang encouraged recruiting at local gun shops.

“[January 6] was the first battle of the Second American Revolution—make no mistakes,” Lang wrote in one message. “This is WAR.”

In an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Lang’s attorneys Steven Metcalf and Martin Tankleff didn’t challenge prosecutors’ request for Lang to remain detained, though they may apply for bail eventually.

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