Less than two months after pleading guilty to breaking into the US Capitol, Daniel Goodwyn, a Texan, appeared on the Tucker Carlson show that used to air on Fox News and promoted his website to collect donations for himself and others. people who broke into the compound, whom the website referred to as “political prisoners.”
Now the Justice Department wants Goodwyn to hand over the more than $25,000 he raised, part of a growing effort by the administration to prevent Capitol break-ins from profiting financially for their role in an attack that shook the foundations of American democracy. .
An AP review of court records shows that prosecutors in more than 1,000 criminal cases involving Jan. 6, 2021 are increasingly asking judges to impose fines in addition to prison sentences to offset donations to supporters of the Capitol raiders.
Dozens of defendants have started online fundraising sites to help with legal costs, and prosecutors acknowledge there is nothing wrong with asking for help paying for lawyers.
But in some cases, the Justice Department has questioned where the money actually goes, because many of the defendants have had government-funded legal representation.
Most of the fundraising efforts appear on GiveSendGo, a website that bills itself as “The #1 Christian Fundraising Site” and has become a haven for defendants related to the January 6 riot. who have been prohibited from using more well-known collection portals such as GoFundMe.
Those involved frequently proclaim their innocence and project themselves as victims of government oppression, even as they reach plea deals and cooperate with prosecution.
His fundraising success suggests that many in the US still view the January 6 raiders as patriotic and cling to unfounded beliefs that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump.
The former president himself has promoted that idea, promising that if he is re-elected he will pardon those who broke into the Capitol.