(MENAFN) A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has threatened to report two attorneys for possible disciplinary action for delaying the trial of a man charged with assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. The judge, Trevor McFadden, questioned whether attorney Joseph McBride was being sincere when he said last summer that he needed to push Christopher Quaglin's October trial. McBride claimed that he had not yet recovered from a case of COVID-19 he had contracted in May 2022, and that he had chronic Lyme disease, and treatment and recovery would take two to three months.
However, the judge noted that at the same time, McBride continued to do media interviews and spoke in October to a Republican county committee about his fight for the "January 6 political prisoners." In November, McBride tweeted a picture of himself on the beach at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort and another photo inside Trump's 2024 campaign announcement party. The judge argued that these public representations call into question the genuineness of McBride's need for a medical continuance.
McFadden ordered McBride and another attorney for Quaglin, Jonathan Gross, to file a response by April 10 as to why the judge should not refer them to the court's committee on grievances, which investigates complaints against attorneys. The judge set a hearing for April 18. In response to a journalist's tweet about the judge's order, McBride tweeted: "EVERYONE SHOULD SHOW UP FOR THIS TO HEAR THE TRUTH. LET'S GOOOOO!"
McBride withdrew from Quaglin's case this month, just weeks before the man's new April trial date, because McBride said he needed to focus on another Jan. 6 case headed to trial at the end of March. McBride told the judge that Gross would take over Quaglin's case, saying the switch wouldn't prejudice the defendant and that the other attorney "knows Quaglin's case well." However, soon after taking over the case, Gross told McFadden he planned to ask for the trial to be pushed again. The judge wrote that Gross told him "that he does not practice criminal law and that he is not competent" to be Quaglin's lead attorney at trial in just a few weeks.
The delay in Quaglin's trial has raised concerns about the pace of justice for those charged in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The attack resulted in the deaths of several people and caused widespread damage to the building and its contents. While hundreds of people have been arrested and charged in connection with the attack, many cases have been delayed due to a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the complexity of the legal issues involved. As the cases move forward, judges and attorneys will need to balance the need for a fair and timely trial with the complexities and challenges of the legal process.
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