A federal judge today released Mark Sahady of Malden on personal recognizance while he goes through court proceedings related to the failed putsch in Washington earlier this month - subject to several conditions, including that his mother, with whom he lives, has to give up her licensed gun pending the conclusion of his case.
Sahady, an unemployed computer programmer, is one of two Boston-area residents arrested Tuesday on federal charges of two misdemeanors - knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The other, Sue Ianni of Natick, was released free of bail on Tuesday. Sahady was held until a separate hearing today after the government asked he be held without bail because of his leadership role in a local right-wing group.
At the hearing today, Sahady's attorney, Rinaldo Del Gallo III, initially said he opposed release conditions that would require Sahady to stay away from the Massachusetts State House and to seek permission of federal probation officers to attend any rallies - conditions Ianni agreed to on Tuesday. Del Gallo said these violate Sahady's First Amendment rights to support President Trump and to criticize "fraud in the election" and were a blatant effort by the government to keep Sahady's "lips taped."
"It's not because he's selling pretzels without a license," he said of the prohibition against any State House appearances. "They don't want him to talk about Trump or about an election that was not fair."
But after Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal said that if Sahady did not agree to the conditions, she could order Sahady detained even longer, Del Gallo said Sahady would agree to the terms, but that he might file an appeal against the ones related to the First Amendment.
Assistant US Attorney William Bloomer said the government is not trying to shut Sahady up, that there are other ways he can support Trump besides going to rallies either at the State House or elsewhere, but that judges are allowed to impinge on defendant's constitutional rights in the interests of preserving public safety
"He was part of a group that stormed the Capitol and engaged in riotous activities that included five deaths, including of a police officer, and 60 injuries," Bloomer said. Bloomer on Tuesday had called for Sahady's indefinite detention, but said today that he was satisfied that imposing the same conditions as Ianni agreed to would keep the public safe.
In a motion, Del Gallo cited other reasons Boal should release his client immediately, including the fact that he is a veteran and has high blood pressure, which could mean problems should he contract Covid-19 behind bars. Also, he questioned whether Sahady should even have been arrested, given that he was in a "public" area of the Capitol and that several videos exist showing Capitol Police officers inviting protesters into the building.
Boal, however, discounted the motion, in fact, she declared it "unintelligible" and not just because it wasn't double spaced, as required by federal court rules. She offered to give Del Gallo a day to recast the "stream of consciousness" into a legal motion, but Del Gallo said he wanted to get his client out of detention as soon as possible and so instead reserved the right to file an appeal.
In addition to requiring his mother to give up her gun, Boal also required Sahady to give up his passport and to stay away from any other defendants or witnesses in the case. He is also not allowed to travel outside Massachusetts or Washington, DC - to which his case will be transferred - without permission of a federal probation officer, which means, according to Del Gallo, he can no at least go skiing in Vermont.