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Prosecutors Struggle to Get Vaccine-Refusing Marshals’ Phone Records in Kornmann Complaint

Judge Charles Kornmann’s effort to hold leaders of the United States Marshals Service accountable for refusing to comply with his Court’s coronavirus vaccination rules in May is stuck in a subpoena fight over the Marshals’ phone records. Twice the prosecution has sought subpoenas of the Marshals’ Verizon phone records to establish their criminal intent, and twice those efforts have failed. The feds withdrew the first subpoena due to technical errors; the revised subpoena motion, for records of activity on the Marshals’ government-issued phone records from March 1 through May 12, 2021, failed because U.S. District Judge Brian C. Buescher said on October 12, “the Court cannot be convinced” that the subpoena “is not a fishing expedition.”

Perhaps the third time will be the charm. In a motion filed October 19, special prosecutors Thomas G. Fritz and Cassidy M. Stalley narrow their data request to phone records from May 10, 2021, the day of the Marshals’ defiance of judicial authority at the federal courthouse in Aberdeen. The prosecutors ask Verizon to produce the following “documents and things”:

  1. A list or report of incoming and outgoing; call detail; text messages; picture; and internet sessions for cellular telephone numbers issued to defendants, from May 10, 2021, including the times of usage initiated and duration of use, and specifically related to the following known conversations among and between Defendants, Deputy Marshal Kinney, and between any of Defendants and the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) “Headquarters” or “leadership”:
    1. Directly or indirectly related to communication by and between Deputy Marshal Kinney to her supervisor, Defendant Houghtaling, and/or Defendant Mosteller upon and in direct response to Judge Kornmann ordering Deputy Marshal Kinney to leave the courtroom and Kinney’s communication of the same on May 10, 2021.
    2. Directly or indirectly related to communication by and between the “U.S. Marshal for the District” (Defendant Mosteller) and/or the Chief Deputy (Defendant Houghtaling) upon and in response to Judge Kornmann ordering Deputy Marshal Kinney to leave the courtroom and Kinney’s communication of the same on May 10, 2021.
    3. Directly or indirectly related to communication by and between the “U.S. Marshal for the District” (Defendant Mosteller) and/or the Chief Deputy (Defendant Houghtaling) with the “USMS Headquarters” or “leadership” in response to Judge Kornmann ordering Deputy Marshal Kinney to leave the courtroom and Kinney’s communication of the same on May 10, 2021.
    4. Directly or indirectly related to instruction by “USMS Headquarters,” “USMS leadership,” and/or Defendant Kilgallon, to the “U.S. Marshal for the District” (Defendant Mosteller), the Chief Deputy (Defendant Houghtaling), and/or Deputy Marshal Kinney on May 10, 2021, to remove the prisoners from the federal courthouse.
    5. Directly or indirectly related to the communication from “U.S. Marshal for the District” (Defendant Mosteller) and/or the Chief Deputy (Defendant Houghtaling) to Deputy Marshal Kinney ordering the removal of the prisoners from the federal courthouse, and then the subsequent order to return the prisoners to the federal courthouse on May 10, 2021 [Cassidy M. Stalley, United States of America’s Second Motion for Issuance of Subopoena Duces Tecum Pursuant to Rule 17(c), USA v. Kilgallon, Mosteller, and Houghtaling, United States District Court: District of South Dakota, Northern Division, filed 2021.10.19].

The prosecutors emphasize that they are not fishing for sensitive law enforcement information but are only looking for information about communications to which the Defendants themselves have attested in their own court filings.

Judge Buescher heard arguments for this subpoena and for the defendants’ motion to dismiss on October 25; PACER does not show any order resulting from that hearing yet.


  1. John 2021-11-04

    There’s a special place in hell for public safety servants who will not comply with the law.
    This episode screams volumes about the systemic recalcitrance in the Department of Justice: a department that had hundreds of points of intelligence prior to the January 6th treason and did next to nothing with that information, a department charging the January 6th treasoners with petty offenses.

  2. Bill 2021-11-04

    If I remember what I read about this event, Kornmann was one of the first people to point out that vaccination records are a normal part of school records. His request seemed so logical. Yet, here we are.

  3. grudznick 2021-11-04

    Maybe these fellows are just irked at Mr. Kornmann’s heavy-handedness and are striving to teach him a lesson. Baal knows my good friend Bob and I share the common bond of wanting to “stick it to the man,” if even just a little bit.

  4. Bob Newland 2021-11-04

    I’d rather stick it to grudznutz.

  5. grudznick 2021-11-04

    You do indeed have sweet dreams, Bob.

  6. Richard Schriever 2021-11-05

    grudz, if law enforcement officers like the Marshall’s give orders that are not complied with, they some times feel justified in killing the refusnick.

  7. sdslim 2021-11-05

    Grudz is just a contrarian and loves to pull peoples chain, rattle cages, spit into the wind, pretend to be something he is not and get a rise out of you folks. The longer you play the more he likes it! He is just like the covid virus —- if he doesn’t have a host, he can’t survive! Quit hosting him! Every time you reply, respond, acknowledge, recognize he exists —– you are part of the problem.

  8. Mark Anderson 2021-11-05

    Gosh folks, I’ve read that at least some of the US Marshall’s are THE experts on the Constitution. No kidding, they’ve got it down, screw the courts. They also know which and when to enforce laws or not, screw the legislature and governor’s. I believe Montana will just go for Marshall in chief or maybe it’s sheriff. iIt’s easy to confuse them, sorry, never mind. It is close to Saturday night.

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