Eric Munchel, the man known as the “zip tie guy” who was arrested with his mother after the Capitol attack, apparently stashed firearms outside before storming the building, Justice Department lawyers stated in a pretrial memo.
Munchel’s own cell phone, which was taped to his chest to record the attack, filmed a discussion about the weapons, according to the court filing.
Munchel, 30, and his 57-year-old mother, Lisa Eisenhart, were arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, this month after they were videotaped inside the breached Senate chamber on Jan. 6. Munchel, dressed in military fatigues, was photographed swinging zip ties, often used for hand restraints, as he jumped among the seats. Both Munchel and Eisenhart wore bulletproof vests. The court filing said Munchel carried a Taser in a holster on his hip.
The Justice Department memo filed Wednesday argued that the weapons discussed and a cache found in Munchel’s home demonstrate that he is a “serious danger to the community” and a flight risk, and should not be released on bail.
The memo didn’t specify what kind of weapons were allegedly stashed outside the Capitol during the attack. But the document listed 15 firearms that the FBI found in Munchel’s home later, including “assault rifles,” a “sniper rifle,” a “drum-style magazine” that can be used for rapid firing, and “hundreds of rounds of ammunition.”
The mother and son were captured on Munchel’s video discussing weapons shortly before entering the Capitol, according to the court filing. Eisenhart warned they could go to federal prison if they went into the building with firearms, the memo stated. Munchel responded: “Yeah, that’s why I’m not going in there,” according to the memo. Eisenhart allegedly responded: “We can put em’ in the backpacks.” They were then filmed apparently hiding a “tactical bag and other items,” according to the memo. Authorities apparently did not recover what was hidden.
Munchel was also seen on the video greeting and “fist-bumping” a member of the anti-government extremist Oath Keepers, the memo stated.
At one point, on their way into the Capitol, Munchel is recorded saying: “We ain’t playing fucking nice no god damn more,” the court filing recounts. Eisenhart replies: “That’s right.”
Munchel and his mom have been charged with illegally entering the Capitol and federal conspiracy. Eisenhart told the London Sunday Times after she was photographed in the Capitol that she would “rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression.”
Munchel told a reporter the day the Capitol was stormed that he was ready to “rise up” and “fight if necessary,” according to the court memo.
Munchel could not immediately be reached for comment.
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