The father of an inmate being held on charges from the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot said his son can’t get a fair trial in the District of Columbia and wants his case heard in Pennsylvania or New York.
Ned Lang, the father of 26-year-old Edward Jacob “Jake” Lang, helped facilitate a protest outside the District federal courthouse on Wednesday to highlight concerns about his son’s legal proceedings.
“It’s impossible to get a jury that’s impartial here,” Mr. Lang told The Washington Times. “I’ll bet you 90-95% of the people in Washington, D.C., are biased against the Jan. 6 patriots and anybody that took place in the protest, so you can’t have a fair trial.”
Jake Lang faces multiple felony charges, including an accusation that he assaulted police officers with a baseball bat during the riot. He’s been denied a pretrial release and was recently moved to a facility in Pennsylvania.
The younger Mr. Lang has been a vocal critic of conditions in the District jail and has said defendants from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot have been subjected to particularly harsh treatment.
Last month, Jake Lang announced a three-week hunger strike to protest the use of solitary confinement and other harsh treatments he said he faced in jail.
The elder Mr. Lang said his goal is to get his son’s trial moved to where he is being held or to Sullivan County, New York, where he is from.
The defendant’s attorney, Steven Metcalf, said his goal is to get more access to his client and for Mr. Lang to be able to participate in his own defense by being granted access to the thousands of pages of video and documents gathered in the investigation of the riots.
“The goal is to get Jake in a position where he can go through all the discovery in his cell and where he can assist me better because when he does do that, he has been instrumental,” Mr. Metcalf said. “It’s a year later. We’re still in the position where we’re fighting about getting him the material.”
Mr. Metcalf added that he is set on refusing to set a trial date until there’s more cooperation from federal prosecutors on making his client more active in his case.
“We have not set a trial date. I refuse to set a trial date,” Mr. Metcalf said. “We have various different motions that are going to be scheduled to be filed within the next six months that I actually did set today. And we are still pushing to just get him to be able to be involved in the case as much as I know he wants to be involved.”
Roughly 20 people attended the protest on Wednesday.
A Democratic-led select committee in Congress is currently investigating the events of the Capitol riot, which was linked to five deaths.
Protester Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she attempted to enter the Speaker’s Lobby adjacent to the House chamber.
Three other pro-Trump demonstrators died during the riot. Two suffered heart attacks and one died of a drug overdose.
One Capitol Police officer died of a stroke, after hours of clashing with rioters outside the building. A medical examiner deemed that the death was from natural causes.
About 150 police officers in total were wounded.
The House impeached former President Donald Trump a week after the incident over incitement of an insurrection.
Mr. Trump was acquitted by the Senate.