Federal prosecutors say unspecified felony charges are coming soon for armed J6 defendant busted near Obama's D.C. home

 July 8, 2023

A man who was already facing federal misdemeanor charges in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 is now facing more legal trouble after he was caught near former President Barack Obama's Washington D.C. home with firearms in his possession.

Now Taylor Taranto, 37, could soon also be hit with federal felony charges in relation to his arrest last week near Obama's home, The Washington Post reported.

However, federal prosecutors did not specify on Thursday what felony charges they might bring or when those charges might be filed, and Taranto's defense attorney stated that, as far as she was aware, none of the potential charges under consideration were related to allegations that Taranto had made threatening statements against the former president and others.

Federal felony charges likely incoming

The Post reported that a bond hearing was held on Thursday following Taranto's arrest on June 29, when he was hit for the first time with four misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing that stemmed from his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

That arrest came one day after he had posted to social media a pair of live streams from inside the van that he was living out of in the Washington D.C. area, the first of which allegedly threatened to explode the nearby National Institute of Standards and Technology federal facility, and the second of which was allegedly broadcast from the D.C. neighborhood where Obama lives when in the city.

Taranto is alleged by prosecutors to have made "ominous comments" about the former president and others, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and when he was taken into custody by the U.S. Secret Service and local law enforcement, a search of the van turned up two 9mm firearms, about 400 rounds of ammunition, and a machete.

Given that Taranto is a U.S. Navy veteran with no prior criminal record and, at least as of yet, has not been charged with any violent crimes, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui let it be known that he was considering setting a bond for Taranto's release -- if, that is, his wife in Washington state or somebody else could guarantee that he remain in home confinement and if federal prosecutors fell short of proving convincingly that he was a flight risk or posed a particular threat to others.

The judge held off on a decision in that regard until another hearing on Wednesday, but did rule separately in favor of a request by Taranto's public defender attorney that he be allowed access to the mental health medication related to his military service that D.C. jail officials had denied him -- a denial that the judge decried as "completely unacceptable."

Prosecutors and media attempt to link incident directly to Trump

According to the Associated Press, also reported by The Post and other media outlets, Taranto was arrested near former President Obama's home on the same day that he had allegedly reposted a social media post from former President Donald Trump that revealed Obama's home address in D.C.

Federal prosecutors and the media focused on that apparent linkage, albeit with some confusion, if not outright dishonesty, in the unrelenting effort to smear Trump in the worst way possible and strongly insinuate that he somehow specifically directed Taranto to go to Obama's D.C. home, which isn't exactly the case.

The AP wrote, "Former President Donald Trump posted on his social media platform what he claimed was the home address of former President Barack Obama on the same day that a man with guns in his van was arrested near the property, federal prosecutors said Wednesday in revealing new details about the case."

Just two paragraphs later, the outlet reiterated, "On the day of his June 29 arrest, prosecutors said, Taranto reposted a Truth Social post from Trump containing what Trump claimed was Obama’s home address."

Prosecutors lied about Trump's Truth Social post

Except, Trump made no such claim whatsoever, and the Truth Social post in question from the former president was made on June 28, one day prior to Taranto's arrest, when he posted a series of screenshots from a 2017 article celebrating his first 100 days in office that lacked any caption other than the article's headline.

Buried deep within the article, in the second of several screenshots, was a passage that mentioned the new post-presidency D.C. home for Obama -- which was public information at that time and, notably, was not circled or highlighted or had extra attention drawn to it in any sort of way ... despite the false assertions from prosecutors that Trump himself "claimed was Obama's home address."

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