U.S. Attorneys ask that WV man accused in Capitol insurrection remain in jail

West Virginia

George Tanios

WASHINGTON – A Morgantown man and his alleged co-conspirator from Pennsylvania, accused of assaulting law enforcement officers during the U.S. Capitol insurrection in January, appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Attorneys for George Tanios and Julian Khater asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan to release the pair from jail after other federal judges had ordered that they be detained.

U.S. Attorneys filed a motion opposing their release. In the motion, attorneys argued that because the men are accused of being involved in an incident as grave as the Capitol insurrection and since officers were injured in “premeditated” attacks, they should remain behind bars. They also point to the weight of the evidence, including videos and photos, against the pair.

Countering the defendants’ points that they have strong family and community ties, the U.S. Attorneys argued that the men were willing to risk those ties and commitments to participate in the riot.

They also argue that both men are flight risks due to their “deep family ties to Lebanon” and further that a pledge from Khater “to provide a surety of 15 million dollars indicates a degree of
family wealth that would make it possible to flee the country and escape prosecution.”

Throughout the motion, to defend their position, U.S. Attorneys quoted and paraphrased the words U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Aloi used March 22 in Clarksburg, in issuing his decision that Tanios remain detained.

Judge Hogan did not rule on the pair’s detention Tuesday and instead set a second bond hearing and oral argument for Thursday, May 6.

Also on Tuesday, after attorneys for both sides agreed, a protective order was filed related to how evidence will be handled and who can see it, during the discovery phase of the case.

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