Philly DA says man accused of election interference has violated bail again
Philadelphia prosecutors ask a judge to revoke the bail of a Virginia man who traveled to the city in Nov. 2020, allegedly to interfere with the presidential election.
Philadelphia prosecutors have again filed a motion to revoke the bail of a Virginia man who traveled to the city in Nov. 2020, allegedly to interfere with the presidential election.
The District Attorney’s office says Joshua Macias violated the conditions of his $850,000 bail by posting on social media and attending political rallies, including one modeled after the Canadian trucker protest that shut down border crossings earlier this year.
Philadelphia police arrested Macias and another man, Antonio LaMotta, near the Philadelphia Convention Center — where mail-in ballots were being counted — on Nov. 5, 2020. Both had loaded handguns on them; neither had a permit to carry firearms in Pennsylvania.
Police also found an AR-15 style rifle, ammunition, a samurai sword, and other items in a silver Hummer with a QAnon decal that was parked nearby and registered to LaMotta.
Both men face a number of charges, including election fraud.
Macias and LaMotta later attended the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. “They got a bail — a bail that was less than we liked — and went to the insurrection,” said District Attorney Larry Krasner, adding that “these are dangerous people” who “should have been locked up from jump.”
After Jan. 6, prosecutors asked a Philadelphia judge to revoke their bail. She denied the revocation, but raised the bail amount and added new restrictions, barring them from posting on social media and attending rallies.
Since then, the DA’s office alleges, Macias has violated both orders on numerous occasions, including posting a video from a “trucker protest” in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. According to the motion, Macias’ “distinctive voice can be heard throughout” the video, and the narrator “self-identifies as ‘J.M.’” at one point.
The motion also alleges that Macias, the 43-year-old co-founder of Veterans for Trump, founded and “appears to…continuously operate” the Twitter handle @Vets_For_Trump, which posts about immigration and “various COVID-19 conspiracy theories,” among other topics.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Collins said during a news conference Thursday that Macias has made a number of posts where he is promoting or attending rallies for political candidates, “one of whom is noteworthy for running for office in Virginia and calling for the execution of everybody who is involved in Joe Biden’s election.” (The motion states that the candidate is Republican Jarome Bell.)
The DA’s office is seeking to revoke Macias’ bail both “to vindicate the authority of the court — because the court put out a condition — and also because we believe that he’s involved in dangerous activity,” Collins said.
His team learned about Macias’ activity through a number of sources, including a news reporter and an independent investigation.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Wednesday.
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