THE DISTRICTAlleged ‘Pizzagate’ gunman in court
A federal judge agreed Thursday to seal personal information extracted by police from the cellphones of people who communicated with a North Carolina man accused of commandeering a D.C. pizza restaurant and firing several shots from an assault-style rifle Dec. 4. No one was injured.
Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., made his first appearance before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who said she would grant the request by prosecutors.
Chutkan set Welch’s next court date for Jan. 24, as the government turns over evidence including police reports, photographs and a video of Welch’s police interview, with witness statements still to come.
Welch has pleaded not guilty to federal and local firearms and assault charges in the incident, which prosecutors said Welch’s communications indicate was motivated by a viral fake-news story known as “Pizzagate.” The conspiracy theory falsely linked Hillary Clinton to a child sex-trafficking ring.
— Spencer S. HsuMARYLAND