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Wiley Rein Secures Dismissal of Criminal Charges Against Inauguration Protester After Prosecutors Withheld Evidence

May 31, 2018

Washington, DC — Wiley Rein LLP today secured a dismissal of felony charges against a client who was arrested during a protest of the 2017 presidential inauguration.

The client – represented by Mark B. Sweet, a partner in Wiley Rein’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Practice – was among numerous individuals charged with felony rioting, conspiracy, and destruction of property in connection with protests in downtown Washington on Inauguration Day. The Wiley Rein team also includes Michelle B. Bradshaw, an associate in the White Collar Practice.

At a hearing this morning, Chief Judge Robert E. Morin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia dismissed most of the charges against several defendants, including Wiley Rein’s client, on the grounds that federal prosecutors wrongfully withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense in violation of the defendants’ rights under Brady v. Maryland. The government decided to dismiss the remainder of the charges against those defendants.

“This is a complete victory for our client, and we are very pleased with the court’s decision,” said Mr. Sweet. “It was a mass arrest and mass prosecution that swept up hundreds of innocent people. This is a case that should never have been brought. But we pushed and fought every step of the way, and finally the government broke.”

News of today’s dismissals was covered by news outlets including The Washington Post, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, the Daily Beast, and The Hill.

Mr. Sweet’s practice also includes representation of government contractors and telecommunications companies facing federal investigations, whistleblower complaints, and civil enforcement actions. He navigates responses to civil investigative demands from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, as well as inquiries and subpoenas from the Federal Communications Commission, Inspectors General, and Congress.