- A Georgia lawyer charged in the Capitol riot will proceed to trial after rejecting a plea deal.
- William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces 3 charges stemming from his role in the siege, including a felony.
- Prosecutors say Calhoun documented his participation in the attack with detailed social media posts.
A Georgia lawyer who made multiple threatening social media posts in the aftermath of the January 6 attack will head to trial later this year after rejecting a government plea deal earlier this month.
William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces three charges stemming from his role in the insurrection, including a felony count of obstructing an official proceeding, as well as entering a restricted building and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
As the government works to prosecute the more than 760 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered several Capitol rioters a lesser charge in exchange for guilty pleas. But during a Monday status hearing, Calhoun’s legal team announced he had declined the government’s plea deal, according to WUSA.
If convicted of the felony obstruction charge, Calhoun could face up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Calhoun documented his participation in the Capitol riot with detailed social media posts that included photos and videos. In one Facebook post from January 6, Calhoun wrote that he was among “the first of us who got upstairs kicked in Nancy Pelosi’s office door and pushed down the hall toward her inner sanctum,” according to charging documents.
“Crazy Nancy probably would have been torn into little pieces, but she was nowhere to be seen,” Calhoun reportedly wrote in one post.
In another, Calhoun said he helped “bring our Government to its knees,” and vowed to return “armed for war,” according to screenshots of his posts included in charging documents. He also admitted to overrunning multiple police barricades and swarming the building looking for members of Congress in his Facebook posts.
But prosecutors say Calhoun was posting threatening political posts even before the insurrection, which prompted an anonymous tipster to alert the FBI to the lawyer’s social media presence in November 2020. The unnamed tipster told the FBI that Calhoun had posted a message encouraging people to storm Washington, DC, while openly carrying firearms, according to charging documents.
The caller also alleged that Calhoun wrote “some of you will live long enough to be exterminated with extreme prejudice,” and “we are going to kill every last communist who stands in Trump’s way.”
In a lengthy statement to Insider, Calhoun maintained that his conduct at the Capitol was nonviolent and part of a peaceful protest.
“In sum, my ‘crime’ was that I peacefully walked through the Capitol and took videos — this is 100% corroborated by the Capitol’s video cameras,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun repeated several falsehoods in the statement, emphasizing his continued belief in the false notion that President Joe Biden lost the election to former President Donald Trump; accusing the “Democrat controlled DOJ” of persecuting him; and suggesting that the prosecution of Capitol rioters amounts to “communism.”
“I will not be intimidated, and I will never bend the knee to the Communists by pleading guilty to something I did not do,” he said.
An attorney for Calhoun said she supported her client’s decision to decline the plea offer.
“I think he made the right decision, and I am confident that the evidence will show that he is not guilty of what he is being charged of,” Jessica N. Sherman-Stoltz said. “I look forward to proving his innocence at trial.”
Calhoun was arrested with his friend, Verden Andrew Nalley, in January 2021 and charged the next month. In December, Nalley pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building.
Calhoun is due back in court in April where a federal judge is set to announce a trial date.