My name is Shawn Witzemann and I am an independent journalist and entrepreneur who was covering breaking news at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 for my media company Tribune Media International, as well as Ops Lens Media. I host the New Mexico Rising Podcast and The American Council for Truth in Journalism.
As someone who wishes for the public to understand the reality of any situation I've ever covered, hiding my face was never an option. Just as I had done during numerous situations prior to J6, I risked my safety and security that day, in order to document the truth.
Four months after my initial interview with the FBI in which I was completely open and honest, the Department of Justice inexplicably decided to charge me with 4 federal misdemeanors on April 1, 2021.
I am now faced with the threat of 3 years in prison for recording and documenting the events at the Capitol.
As a father of two teenage boys, who has been trying my best to balance the inherent dangers of my passion for journalism with my duties to my family, the added expense and stress of having to defend our First Amendment rights hasn't been easy.
I realize I am just a man, flawed in many ways, but deep in my heart I am confident in the fact that I did nothing wrong that day. I was no part of an insurrection, I did not engage in violence, and even according to the DOJ charging documents, it is quite apparent that I was there to provide live coverage. I was recording video footage and talking to police and protesters alike, in an effort to show my followers the truth of the day.
As the process of exonerating myself of these continues, I am humbled by the outpouring of support I have received. Although I would rather not be fighting for my freedom, I am blessed to be given this opportunity to strengthen my faith in God.
Prayers are needed more than ever, and if you are able to spare any money to help me in this fight, I would be appreciative beyond measure.
Thank you for your continued support.