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Judge in Oath Keepers Jan. 6 Cases Warns Disbarred Attorney to Stop Filing Motions or Else Face ‘Appropriate Sanctions’

Troubled lawyer Jonathon Moseley is seen on the left in a YouTube screengrab; U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is pictured on the right.

Left: Jonathon Moseley, via YouTube screengrab. Right: U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, via U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

A disbarred lawyer for one of the defendants in a high-profile Jan. 6 case has again found himself in hot water, after apparently filing a motion in a case from which he has already withdrawn.

Jonathon Moseley is the one-time lawyer for Kelly Meggs, a high-ranking member of the right-wing extremist Oath Keepers group led by Stewart Rhodes. Rhodes, Meggs, and 10 co-defendants are facing some of the most serious charges in the federal government’s sweeping prosecution of Jan. 6 rioters, including seditious conspiracy. Meggs’ wife Connie Meggs is charged in a separate Oath Keepers case alongside at least seven co-defendants.

Moseley was disbarred in April from practicing law in Virginia due to mishandling of client funds, unauthorized practice of law, and other misconduct unrelated to his representation of Meggs.

Despite no longer being connected to the Oath Keepers case, Moseley filed a “Factual Information” on Tuesday in response to what he described as prosecutors’ “improper” June 22, 2022 request asking for a closer look into the fee-arrangement agreement between some of the defendants in the Oath Keepers cases and their lawyers.

The government’s filing was largely based on media reports that some attorneys for the Oath Keepers may have accepted funds from Defending the Republic, a so-called “dark money group” linked to ex-Donald Trump attorney Sidney Powell. The House Committee investigating Jan. 6 has suggested that former President Trump has connections to the group.

Moseley was not named in the government’s filing, although the media reports did link him to Defending the Republic. Nevertheless, he responded.

“The prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Office have filed a smear mainly of me, the undersigned, Jonathon Moseley, and of other persons who are neither parties nor counsel, thus misusing the Court and its system,” Moseley writes in his filing. “The USAO’s filing is not a classic motion for or against any party, but a public act of intimidation.”

Moseley, referring to himself in the third-person, insists that he “has been consistent and transparent that no outside funding source, whether family, friend, or institutional, determines the relationship between an attorney and his or her client or the decisions made by the client exclusively in the interests of the client and that a source or sources of third-party funding may affect the attorney’s representation of the client.”

He also praises Defending the Republic as “honorable, noble, and to be commended.”

Moseley filed his “information” in both of the high-profile Oath Keepers cases that are currently before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, even though he had only ever been linked to one of the cases.

“Mr. Moseley filed [the information] on behalf of Defendants, including Connie and Kelly Meggs, without consent, and without any effort to confer before representing to the court [] that he was filing on behalf of” more than a dozen co-defendants, attorney Julia Haller wrote in a motion to strike filed Thursday. Among the co-defendants listed are Joshua James and Brian Ulrich, who have both pleaded guilty and are currently cooperating with the government’s investigation.

“The actual filing appears to be on behalf of himself, but it appears that he filed it through the [online filing system] using Mr. Kelly Meggs’ name and represented further that it was on behalf a group of defendants listed above,” Haller said in her motion. She said she reached out to Moseley immediately after he filed but that he hasn’t responded.

Notably, while Haller acknowledged that she and her co-counsel Stanley Woodward “cleared conflicts checks” since taking over Meggs’ representation, she declined to say whether she has received funding from Defending the Republic. Haller was Powell’s co-counsel in the failed “Kraken” litigation that sought to overturn the 2020 election results in several states.

Haller asked Mehta to remove Moseley’s filing from the record, noting that prosecutors did not object to her request.

On Thursday, Mehta denied Haller’s motion, although largely for procedural reasons.

“The court is not aware of any basis under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would enable it to ‘strike’ a filing made on the public record, even one that is not authorized by a defendant or his counsel,” Meta wrote in a minute order posted to the docket.

But although Mehta apparently was not legally authorized to remove Moseley’s motion from the record, he made his displeasure clear, and warned the him against making any further filings — or else face “appropriate sanctions.”

“[T]he court recognizes that Mr. Moseley’s filing was not made with the consent of Mr. Meggs, his new counsel, or any other counsel in this case,” wrote Mehta, a Barack Obama appointee. “The court therefore will not consider anything that Mr. Moseley has represented or argued in connection with the court’s consideration of the D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(e) issue. Additionally, the court warns Mr. Moseley that he is no longer counsel of record in this matter for any defendant. If he again makes a filing in this case without either the consent of a represented defendant or this court, the court will not hesitate to impose appropriate sanctions.”

[Image of Jonathon Moseley via YouTube screengrab. Image of Judge Amit Mehta via U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.]

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