Minot native Glen Mitchell “Mitch” Simon, charged with four federal misdemeanors related to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, pleaded not guilty in a District of Columbia court recently.
The acting U.S. attorney in the nation’s capital charged Simon, 30, with knowingly entering a restricted building and with violent entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol.
Court records indicate that federal agents seized his cell phone when they arrested Simon in Georgia on May 5, almost a month after a sealed warrant detailing their case had been filed.
Prosecutors told the U.S. District Court that “a forensic analysis of this device remains ongoing” as part of an investigation that has already led to the arrest of more than 400 accused insurgents who mobbed the Capitol in a failed bid to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the November general election.
Simon is due in court June 25 for a hearing that will determine how quickly his case will be dealt with.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell told prosecutors and Simon, who is represented by a public defender in Georgia, to share all the relevant information with each other by July 7.
Simon told the Sun Journal in January he never entered the Capitol, though he insisted those who had gone inside did nothing wrong. He declined comment this month.
In the warrant for his arrest, the FBI said social media posts seen by Simon’s friends included footage of him inside the building. They reported him to authorities.
There is nothing in the warrant to indicate the FBI has seen Simon’s own pictures or video, but they did find what they say are pictures of him captured on federal video surveillance cameras inside the Capitol during the siege.
The agency began looking into Simon’s role on Jan. 14, the same day the Sun Journal detailed Simon’s own account of what he did that day in Washington.
Prosecutors told the court in Simon’s case that “the investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence.”
About 400 people have already been charged with crimes in connection to the attack, prosecutors said, and “the investigation continues and the government expects that at least 100 additional individuals will be charged.”
“While most of the cases have been brought against individual defendants, the government is also investigating conspiratorial activity that occurred prior to and on January 6,” prosecutors said.
“The spectrum of crimes charged and under investigation in connection with the Capitol Attack includes (but is not limited to) trespass, engaging in disruptive or violent conduct in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds, destruction of government property, theft of government property, assaults on federal and local police officers, firearms offenses, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, possession and use of destructive devices, and conspiracy,” they said.
Prosecutors said they have executed more than 900 search warrants in nearly every state as part of a probe
Prosecutors warned that the volume of material likely to be included in discovery for defendants includes more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage from multiple law enforcement agencies; data from 1,600 electronic devices, more than 210,000 tips that often include pictures or video and more than 80,000 reporters from law enforcement agents who interviewed suspects or witnesses.