WASHINGTON — A defendant’s Jan. 6 trial turned into something of a family therapy session last week, when a Capitol attack defendant representing himself questioned one of his own sons, who was one of various informants who turned him in to the FBI.
brian mock from Minnesota was arrested in June 2021 and later charged with various charges, including civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or hindering certain officers; and theft of government property. His non-jury trial before Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, where Mock is representing himself pro se, began last week and will resume July 11, when Mock will once again take the stand in his own defense.
Mock’s son, AJ Mock, was one of several informants who turned him over to the FBI after the attack on the Capitol. Young Mock indicated in his testimony that his father told him that he might not return after January 6.
«You are dead?» AJ Mock questioned his father in a text message after the attack, which was presented as evidence at trial.
«Yeah, that’s how I’m chasing you,» Brian Mock replied.
«What they did today was treason and a threat to national security… Everyone there should be locked up for the rest of their lives, including you,» AJ Mock wrote in a message to his father that was entered into evidence at the trial. . «YOU ASSAULTED THE F—ING CAPITOLIO.»
He also asked his father «what the hell» made him think «was that a good idea?»
AJ Mock was originally going to testify for the prosecution, but the government did not call him. Instead, he said, his father paid for AJ Mock’s hotel room and plane ride to DC to testify as a defense witness.
AJ Mock, who testified that his father exaggerated and engaged in hyperbole online, said he felt bad about turning his father over to the FBI in the nearly two and a half years since the attack on the Capitol.
Assistant US Attorney Michael Gordon, on cross-examination, asked AJ Mock if he would describe his relationship with his father as complex. AJ Mock testified that she loved her father and that she doesn’t want to see him go to prison.
AJ Mock said his father was like a broken record when it came to talking about the 2020 presidential election, which Brian Mock believed had been stolen. AJ Mock said she would go out of her way to avoid discussing the issue with her father and that she «tried to tune out» when her father discussed the election.
AJ Mock said he was «in shock» when his dad said he didn’t know if he’d be back after Jan. 6; the younger Mock said that he «didn’t know how to respond». He said that he was not sure if his father meant that he was going to die on January 6 or if he meant that he would be arrested.
Video cited by the government shows Mock pushing an officer and apparently kicking him. «Go out!» Mock yelled at the officers in the videos. «Go!» Video cited by the government shows Mock shoving another officer and then picking up several riot shields and returning them to the mob. Online «sedition hunters«who identified hundreds of January 6 defendants, as well as hundreds more as yet unindicted participants nicknamed Mock»amoral combat”, referring to the video game series.
Brian Mock has not denied his presence in the Capitol and argued that he was on the defensive before January 6 due to anitfa. But AJ Mock said when questioned by his father at the trial that he didn’t remember Brian Mock talking about antifa before the attack.
AJ Mock testified that he and his father had a «love-hate relationship» («That’s fair,» his father said), that they disagree on politics, and that they are both stubborn.
«Take away the old block,» Brian Mock said.
At one point, in the redirect, Brian Mock tried to obtain his son’s sexual orientation on the stand, but Judge Boasberg said it was beyond the scope of his testimony. It is not clear what he meant by the question and he moved on.
Brian Mock said that he had immediately forgiven his son when he found out that AJ Mock had turned him in to the FBI and asked his son if he would lie on the stand to keep him out of jail.
«No,» AJ Mock said at the trial. «I just want the truth to be heard.»
«You know I’m proud of you, right?» asked the defendant.
«Yes,» replied his son.
«And you know that I love you, right?» asked the defendant.
«Yes,» AJ Mock replied.
The government did not object. Outside the courtroom after testimony, both men shed tears.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with the January 6 attack, and there has been a marked increase in arrests in recent weeks. Hundreds of additional cases are in process. The statute of limitations for crimes committed on January 6 expires at the beginning of 2026.