Independent J6 Journalist Targeted by DOJ

The Story

Dear friends,

Since reporting on January 6th as an independent journalist, I have incurred significant costs both to defend myself legally, as well as to continue to research and publish investigatory research relating to the fateful events at the Capitol that day.

Although my sole intention when entering Capitol Grounds that day was to accurately document and publish what I observed (like many of the other journalists), the DOJ has refused to follow their policies for “Members of the News Media” (28 CFR § 50.10), and is prosecuting me for four misdemeanors, including “Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building” and “Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building.”

See also: EXCLUSIVE: J6 Journalist Headed to Trial in Landmark Press Freedom Case | Headline USA

Bona fides

My documentary and investigative work has been cited in publications ranging from The Epoch Times to the HuffPost (though they neglected to credit me).

What ended up being the most significant moment I witnessed and documented is probably the notorious encounter between the Oath Keepers and USCP Officer Harry Dunn. What I witnessed was the Oath Keepers interposing themselves between Dunn and certain angry individuals in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. (Although I was ultimately not called to testify at any of the Oath Keeper trials in DC, I did testify in the eligibility trial of an Oath Keeper state representative in Alaska).

One story I have been consistently following is the presence of undercover Metropolitan Police Officers in the crowd as part of the Electronic Surveillance Unit. Their presence was first attested to in the charging documents against Fi Duong. Since then, we’ve gotten more information on this unit, including video leaked this year showing the undercover officer who met Duong acting as a provocateur in the crowd.

Another major story I investigated and reported on was regarding Derrick Vargo, the man who was seriously injured when he was pushed off a staircase by a Capitol Police officer. One of the first scenes I had witnessed as I arrived at the Capitol was Vargo being carried off on an improvised stretcher; at the time I had no idea how he had been injured.

When I came across multiple angles of how Vargo had been pushed by the police officer in late 2021, I was surprised that the incident had received so little attention at that point. I worked to get the video evidence and the story out to the public, including via Joe Hanneman at The Epoch Times and Cara Castronuova at the Gateway Pundit.

I was also the first to report on the identity of the police officer who injured Vargo, Officer Bryant Williams, after it was pointed out to me in court documents by a source who preferred to remain anonymous.

When I put together the timeline of Williams’s actions, along with other pieces such as the extensive use of flashbangs and the breach of the Senate Wing Door, I realized there was a sequential series of events which had yet to be explored. I felt called to put out this research in the form of a documentary, “79 Minutes: Breach of the Capitol“, which I have paid for so far out of my own pocket.

Legal Costs

However, my main expenses from January 6th have been legal costs related to my criminal defense.

In addition to the cost of preparing for trial, my legal team researched and prepared two selective prosecution/discovery motions, arguing for the due process and first amendment right to be treated the same as the numerous members of the press who entered the Capitol and were not charged that day.

Unfortunately, these motions were unsuccessful, and I will be facing a jury trial in Judge Kelly’s courtroom beginning September 13th.

This is a heavy burden to bear alone, and I appreciate the support from all of y’all.

Stephen Horn


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