Washington — A physical altercation broke out Monday during a hearing in the case of Vitali GossJankowski, a defendant convicted on multiple counts related to thewhich resulted in the tables being overturned and several federal agents subduing the accused to the ground.
Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered GossJankowski jailed for a series of recent doxxing threats aimed at federal agents. Moments later, GossJankowski stood up and struggled with officers who attempted to handcuff him and take him into custody.
GossJankowski, who appears to be at least 6 feet 3 inches tall and exceptionally muscular, pushed, pulled and knocked down the officers before charging at a podium and nearby tables.
Agents from elsewhere in the courthouse raced into the courtroom to help four U.S. Marshals and FBI personnel surround GossJankowski, who has a hearing disability.
GossJankowski was convicted of multiple charges in his Jan. 6 case earlier this year, including assaulting police.
Prosecutors had asked a judge to jail him immediately before sentencing because of a series of threatening Instagram posts in which GossJankowski allegedly targeted and leaked private information about FBI employees.
Just before GossJankowski’s outburst and fight, Friedman called the social media posts “extremely disturbing and dangerous.” Echoing recent arguments over silence orders in former President Donald Trump’s cases, the judge said it is rarely “people in public life themselves” who pose a threat to judges and officials , but rather “their supporters”.
Friedman said threatening messages are not protected by the First Amendment. He alluded to other federal judges in Washington who were recently targeted and needed 24-hour security.
GossJankowski was eventually removed from court and taken to the Washington DC prison. The date of his sentencing has not yet been set.