In the early morning of Jan. 6, 2021, a group of unnamed and unidentified individuals were seen unloading and transporting the materials to assemble the infamous gallows that became the subject of numerous photographs during the protests.
According to surveillance video obtained by the Patriot Freedom Project from the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, the unidentified individuals built the gallows in plain view on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Despite the full resources of law enforcement being deployed against thousands of individuals for participation in January 6—many charged with only misdemeanors—the builders of the gallows remain unidentified.
Photos of the gallows were included in the public hearings of the committee regarding the January 6 riot, and tied to right-wing movements by media like The New York Times.
Ed Martin, an attorney who represents Jan. 6 defendants, released the footage after obtaining it from the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight.
On Wednesday, Martin said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show that after reviewing the footage “we figured out that four guys set up the gallows at 6:30 in the morning on January 6, it was a very serious production, they moved it out of a truck, they moved it across on wheels, they came back and forth.”
“And more importantly than anything, as some of the images you have up show, they went to get coffee at about seven in the morning, they went to coffee at the only coffee shop open at that time, which happens to be well, it's right next to Georgetown Law School. But it's also right across from the FBI headquarters in D.C. Something about this doesn't doesn't smell right,” Martin said.
Martin represents January 6 defendants and serves as a board member of the Patriot Freedom Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to raising money to provide financial assistance to those arrested and their families. The funds raised go towards legal defense fees, financial support for the families, and covering any other defense-related expenses, according to the organization’s website.
Martin believes that the gallows were constructed by those wishing to paint President Trump and his supporters in a bad light. Specifically, Martin wonders why police did not stop its construction. So far, there is no evidence to support Martin’s claims.
The surveillance camera footage, posted publicly under the title “J6 Special Collection” to open.ink, shows a trio of unidentified individuals arriving under the cover of darkness on the morning of January 6. The trio can be seen crossing the street with a cart of wooden beams in tow and moving to unload their cargo in the grass in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool near Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Two more individuals who appear to arrive later, join the trio at the gallows construction site. One of those individuals—dressed in a trench coat and fedora—is recorded leaving and returning to the site during the setup.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., whose subcommittee released the footage to Martin, highlighted his concerns about the the FBI’s effort.
“I mean, there's some pretty clear images and I would make an argument is that the FBI has gone after other people with less evidence, or at least put more effort into an investigation than what it appears that they have done here,” Loudermilk said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show Wednesday.
Loudermilk also told hosts John Solomon and Amanda Head that it is his understanding that the FBI has no suspects for the gallows construction. He also wants to know why the gallows was allowed to remain on the mall during the events of the day.
“How is it that Park Police, Capitol Police, FBI, someone, Metropolitan Police did not go and take this thing down earlier in the day as you know that the the riots and and the larger protests didn't start until early in the afternoon. So how was it that this thing was allowed to stay up this long?” Loudermilk asked.
The Department of Justice and the FBI have deployed significant resources to bring charges against more than 1,200 defendants across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Among the charges are assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers or employees, assaulting or destroying the equipment of a member of the media, entering or remaining in a restricted federal building, and the destruction of government property.
The Justice Department did not return a request for comment from Just the News about the footage of the gallows builders.
The push for answers has not abated. Just recently, a two day manhunt concluded in the search for Gregory Yetman, a former New Jersey National Guard police sergeant who purportedly fled from law enforcement when they served him with a warrant. He is facing felony charges of assaulting an officer and obstructing law enforcement at the January 6 unrest at the Capitol.
A handful of January 6 defendants decried the poor conditions and treatment in the D.C. Central Detention Facility where they were being held while awaiting trial. Defendants and their lawyers described isolation, lack of access to medical care, and the inability to allow inmates to worship in the chapel without being vaccinated.
After the public complaints, the U.S. Marshals Service carried out an unannounced inspection of D.C. detention facilities. “Based on the USMS inspection, I believe that there is evidence of systemic failures, in particular at the Central Detention Facility (CDF), that may warrant further examination by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division,” Lamont Ruffin, Acting U.S. Marshal for the federal district wrote in a letter to the director of the D.C. department of corrections.
Despite the much publicized cases including violence against police officers or obstructing law enforcement operations, the majority of January 6 defendants are charged only with “parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building”—a misdemeanor charge.
The fact that none of the gallows builders were questioned by police as they set up the structure lies in stark contrast to the strict misdemeanor enforcement against many of the other January 6 defendants.
"Under the continued leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the attack continues to move forward at an unprecedented speed and scale," the Justice Department said in an update on January 6 prosecutions. "The Department of Justice’s resolve to hold accountable those who committed crimes on January 6, 2021, has not, and will not, wane."