Aaron Mostofsky, the 34-year-old son of a state Supreme Court judge, appeared remotely for the federal court proceedings in Brooklyn. U.S. prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have charged him with felony theft of state property.
He also faces charges of knowingly entering or residing in any restricted building or site without legal authority, knowingly – with the intent of obstructing government business or official functions – of committing riots over the Capitol, and of illegally entry and disorder.
He was not asked to rule on his initial appearance in court and received a $ 100,000 bail from U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara.
Mostofsky’s father is Stephen “Shlomo”
Lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz said Mostofsky was not a riot.
“I believe the evidence will show that he was not part of the crowd, that he was not insane,” Schwartz said during the hearing.
The judge approved a joint package that allowed Mostofsky’s release and restricted his travel to New York, barred him from associating with co-defendants or conspirators in the case, and barred him from attending political rallies or entering state capitals.
“They are particularly important given what has already been widely reported, such as the expected potential for social gatherings and the violence and threats associated with them,” US aide Josh Hafetz said during the hearing. “It is important that Mr Mostofski does not take part in the behavior he was dealing with last week.”
Schwartz said his client had nothing to do with the protests.
“He understands how the whole thing in Washington got completely out of control,” Schwartz said. He will stay away from Washington, any political rallies. “
Schwartz said Mostofsky’s only interest now was to respond to those allegations and get a resolution that was “fair.”
The FBI in New York on Tuesday sent a warning to people considering violating federal law.
“For those in this area who are considering engaging in future activities similar to Mr. Mostofsky’s alleged behavior, let me be clear: The FBI will find you, arrest you, and do our part to ensure the full strength of the federal government. criminal justice system, “said in a statement the assistant director of the responsible William F. Sweeney Jr..
Sweeney also thanked community members who provided information and advice on the Capitol attack, adding: “We are stronger when we are united.”
The complaint refers to a video interview from the Capitol
The criminal complaint refers to a video interview that Mostofsky gave to the New York Post while he was in the Capitol building six days ago, where he believed that “the election was stolen” and that he was traveling from his home in Brooklyn to Washington. , District of Columbia.
The complaint shared an image from the interview alleging that Mostofsky was wearing a Capitol police vest and wearing a U.S. riot police shield, which he said he told the interviewer he found on the floor.
The complaint states that authorities issued a search warrant for access to Mostofsky’s previously inaccessible Instagram account four days ago, where investigators found additional posts about Mostofsky’s presence in the Capitol during the riot.
According to the complaint, an Instagram message sent to Mostofsky said: “Your (sic) famous”, to which he claims to have responded. “IK (I know) unfortunately.”
“But it’s as if I’m here now, how did I get there,” Mostofsky said in response to the unidentified person.
Another post uncovered by investigators, allegedly from Mostofsky, said he was on a bus shortly after 6 a.m. last Wednesday and headed to Washington, D.C., and that he tried to coordinate the meeting. with a friend, instructing the friend to “look for a man, a caveman,” according to the complaint.
Brother agrees to take care of him
Mostofsky’s older brother, Neil Mostofsky, agreed to be a third-party trustee to ensure that his brother attended court hearings and complied with the terms of his release during the hearing. The older Mostofsky described himself as part of an organization that “trains members of Congress” but is currently “non-existent” due to the pandemic, and said his family was “extremely close.”
According to federal prosecutors, Mostofsky could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the highest charge.
He is expected to appear in a video hearing in the District of Columbia on January 25.