Supreme Court rejects InfoWars host’s bid to overturn Jan. 6 conviction 

National News

By Bill Pan 
Contributing Writer 

InfoWars host Owen Shroyer on Monday lost the bid for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his misdemeanor conviction, which he claimed was largely based on what he said in the hours leading to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

The justices rejected Mr. Shroyer’s petition in a routine list of orders published Monday morning. No one signaled dissent or commented on the rationale behind the decision. 

Shroyer, the 34-year-old host of “The War Room with Owen Shroyer” on Alex Jones’s media platform, was accused by prosecutors of engaging in “disruptive and riotous behavior” at the nation’s capitol that day. Last year, he pleaded guilty to and received a 60-day sentence in federal prison for one misdemeanor charge of entering restricted grounds, which carries a maximum penalty of one year behind bars. 

Unlike many other Jan. 6 participants who have since been charged with crimes, Shroyer didn’t enter the Capitol building on that day. Yet he was still punished by prosecutors, because he previously signed a deferred prosecution agreement after interrupting a House Judiciary Committee hearing for then-President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings in 2019. 

As part of the agreement, Shroyer consented not to “utter loud, threatening, or abusive language or engage in any disorderly or disruptive conduct” anywhere on the U.S. Capitol Grounds with the intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of any congressional session. 

According to court filings, Shroyer on the afternoon of Jan. 6 led a crowd of people in a “1776!” chant to the Capitol, where members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence were meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

“The Democrats are posing as communists, but we know what they really are,” the InfoWars personality said through a megaphone that day. “They’re just tyrants, they’re tyrants. And so today, on Jan. 6, we declare death to tyranny! Death to tyrants!” 

In defense of his actions, Shroyer’s attorneys said he was there as a journalist to cover the event for his talk show. But prosecutors insisted that his “violent rhetoric” stirred up his listeners on the Capitol steps. 

“Shroyer helped create Jan. 6,” the prosecutors wrote. “Shroyer cannot light a fire near a can of gasoline, and then express concern or disbelief when it explodes.” 

Shroyer also told U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly that he was actually using a megaphone to “urge people to stand down and turn away from the Capitol.” The Trump-appointed judge wasn’t convinced. 

The InfoWars host’s latest effort to overturn his conviction came this February, when he submitted to the Supreme Court a writ of certiorari, a type of petition seeking judicial review of a lower court’s decision. 

Although Shroyer’s plea agreement contained a waiver of the right to appeal, he insisted that this should not prevent him from seeking justice for the alleged violation of his First Amendment rights. 

In his petition, Shroyer argued that the District Court failed to acknowledge his “unique role” as a journalist who has been doing on-the-ground live reporting of rallies, protests, and riots for almost a decade. Other than trespassing — to which he pleaded guilty — the prosecutors’ sole justification for his incarceration was what he said while doing his job as a journalist. 

“The use of protected political speech to jail a journalist — even a trespassing journalist — is chilling,” the petition read. “Is the United States truly a country that will allow citizens, and particularly journalists, to be incarcerated for their speech?” 

In a post on X on Monday, Shroyer said the Supreme Court set a worrisome precedent by refusing to review his case. 

“The precedent has been set. You can be arrested and sentenced for legal and lawful speech,” he wrote. “My case was the precedent. The message is clear. Speak out against government and risk arrest.” 

Shroyer’s attorney Robert Barnes did not respond to a request for comment. 

Shroyer is one of two InfoWars employees arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 incident. Samuel Montoya, a video editor for the Alex Jones-founded website, entered the Capitol building and captured footage of a police officer fatally shooting Ashli Babbitt. He was sentenced last April to four months of home detention. 

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