‘I’m not a magician’: Lawyer for riot suspect says photo poses ‘problem’

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Lawyers for a Florida man accused of carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the U.S. Capitol last week suggested Monday that the photograph of their client poses a “problem” in their case.

According to reports, Adam Johnson, 36, of the Manatee County, was one of the dozens of people who caused mayhem in Wednesday’s riots. A photo widely shared on social media allegedly shows him smiling and waving as he carries off a lectern bearing the official seal of the Speaker of the House.

Johnson’s lawyers acknowledged that the photograph poses a challenge to their client’s case.

“I don’t know how else to explain that, but yeah that would be a problem,” attorney Dan Eckhart said. “I’m not a magician […] so yeah, we’ve got a photograph of our client who appears to be inside the federal building with government property.”

Johnson walked out of court Monday on a “signature bond,” meaning he didn’t have to put up any money to get out of custody. However, he will have to pay if he fails to show up in court on Jan. 19.

The conditions of Johnson’s release include a $25,000 bond, a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., the surrender of his passport, no firearms or weapons, and restricted travel in the Middle District of Florida and D.C. for court matters.

Johnson faces three federal charges:

  • One count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • One count of theft of government property
  • One count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds

Douglas Land, another attorney for Johnson, said they don’t take the situation at the Capitol lightly.

“He’s got serious felony charges right now and obviously he’s taking this very seriously. We’re taking this very seriously,” he said. “This has been a substantial incident in our history.”

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