WICHITA — Authorities arrested a Wichita man for crimes related to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S Capitol. 37-year-old Michael Eckerman is charged with multiple federal offenses in connection to the breach.

Those federal charges include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, obstructing an official proceeding and disorderly conduct in the Capitol building.

KWCH spoke with local attorney Dan Monnat about the possible charges Eckerman faces and the process of a federal prosecution.

Michael Eckerman, a Wichita man, is now one of more than 600 people arrested for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year.

“The three felonies carry maximum federal penalties of five, eight or 20 years in prison, plus fines,” said Dan Monnat. “Of the five misdemeanors: Three of them carry prison sentences not to exceed six months in prison; two of them carry sentences of not to exceed one year in prison, plus fines for all of them.”

An affidavit supporting the arrest claims that this surveillance footages captures the incident. Prosecutors say that during the Capitol breach, Eckerman pushed a Capitol police officer with aggressive force, causing the cop to fall down the stairs and allowing rioters to move farther inside the Capitol.

Wichita attorney Dan Monnat explains what happens after his arrest.

“Once there is either a waiver or an indictment, then he would be arraigned on the charges,” Monnat said. “Next there follows in the procedure the filing and litigation of motions. Ultimately, within 70 days, excluding continuances requested by the defendant, the case will go to a jury trial.”

If found guilty, Eckerman could be convicted of three or more charges, but Monnat emphasizes Eckerman is innocent until proven guilty.

“It’s important to remember that he is still entitled to the full benefits of due process of law,” Monnat said.

Erckerman made his first court appearance yesterday and was released on a $10,000 bond. Tipsters helped prosecutors identify him. The family has no comment at this time.

See full video at KWCH.com

WICHITA — The IRS wants to increase funding by $80 billion to go after tax cheats, but some say it could open your account and transactions to the IRS if you have as little as $600 in any account.

“We don’t know what all is going to happen with the pending legislation and what has been proposed. We are a little bit fearful of it,” said Travis Carr, president of Community Bank in Wichita. “You know many times we’re asked to be the eyes and ears for the government.”

Carr says reporting is nothing new. And he is clear, he is not getting into the politics of the proposal from the IRS and the government.

Republican lawmakers have been firmly against the idea. KSN News reached out to lawmakers on the plan.

U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan., got back to KSN News on Monday. He is co-sponsoring a bill to be introduced into Congress to curb the idea.

“Prying open the bank statements and Venmo accounts of Kansas families and small businesses is another example of gross overreach of the Biden administration,” said Rep. Estes.

Estes also said it would be a reporting nightmare for smaller banks.

“We just don’t know yet, what it all means,” said Carr. “Obviously, we take privacy in our customers very seriously, and it’s concerning to us that we may have to, in some form or fashion, report back on some of these transactions.”

The plan passed the U.S. Senate. It is in Congress right now.

Legal analysts say we have seen plans like the current proposal before.

“These are the problems that lie before the gate to our brave, new digital world,” said KSN legal analyst Dan Monnat. “For 45 years, Americans have not had much right of privacy in their banking records. Because in 1976, the United States Supreme Court held that you can’t have a right of constitutional privacy in transactions and records that you willingly place in the hands of a third party like a bank.”

Monnat says that case may not hold in the future. In 2018, there was a U.S. Supreme Court case that had a different take.

“Under the analysis of the United States Supreme Court in 2018 in the Carpenter case, a cell site location information case, the court held that in this pervasive, digitized world of the cloud, you no longer necessarily lose your right to constitutional privacy by placing your records in the hands of a third party,” said Monnat. “Now, it remains to be seen whether that ruling in the Carpenter case will apply to banking records. But it certainly might.”

The overall infrastructure bill passed the Senate last month. Both Kansas senators voted against it. Representatives are back in Washington next week, and they will get a look.

See the full video at KSN.com.

President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate is getting both backlash and praise.

In the mandate, all employers with 100 or more employees must require vaccines or weekly testing.

All federal workers and contractors must be vaccinated.

And all healthcare workers at Medicare, Medicaid participating hospitals must be vaccinated.

So, is this federal vaccine mandate constitutional, and does it have legs to stand on in court? We took those questions to legal experts.

“Constitutionally it is uncontroversial. For instance, Biden’s federal plan requires all federal employees to be vaccinated. Nothing unconstitutional about that,” says Dan Monnat, attorney.

“We have the interplay of federal, state, and local authorities, so this is a hugely complex issue that is murky at best at this point,” says labor attorney Jon Newman.

“The federal government, as employer or contractor, has the same right as private businesses to impose non-invidiously discriminatory conditions upon its employees, particularly where they are designed to promote the public health,” Monnat said.

Governor Laura Kelly’s spokesperson shared this statement today about the White House’s COVID plan, saying in part:

“We are still waiting on additional guidance on what this plan means for our residents, and our administration needs to thoroughly review it further before we comment on specifics… Kansas families can rest assured that the Governor will continue to make any decisions relating to COVID-19 based on science, not politics.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in part, “No president has the legal authority to decree a national vaccine mandate or to punish private businesses that refuse to discriminate against employees based on their health status. President Biden yesterday scolded ‘this is not about freedom,’ but the rule of law most certainly is. If the president’s overreaching rhetoric becomes federal action, then rest assured we will vigorously challenge it.”

Senator Roger Marshall tweeted out, “@POTUS’ vaccination decree is an all-out assault on private business, our civil liberties, and our entire constitutional system of limited government. This will likely get struck down in the courts – but is a terrifying glimpse of the new Marxist Dem Party.”

Senator Moran said in part, “I strongly oppose the Biden administration’s extreme government overreach in requiring vaccinations and urge them to focus on solutions that will empower patients to make educated decisions of their own choosing.”

See full video at KAKE.com

WICHITA — The 2021 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defense has named Dan Monnat, of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, one of the world’s leading business crime defense attorneys. He is the only attorney from Wichita and one of only two attorneys in Kansas selected to the list. Earlier this year, Monnat also was named a leading attorney on the Government Investigations list for Who’s Who Legal.

“Who’s Who focuses on an international list of lawyers with expertise in representing companies and individuals involved in criminal litigation arising from their business activities,” Monnat said. “While the Who’s Who research focuses on white-collar criminal trial practice, the majority of us selected to the Who’s Who list also have experience dealing with compliance, investigations, enforcement proceedings, and parallel or related civil litigation. It’s truly an honor to be counted among these esteemed colleagues from around the globe.”

Monnat has practiced in Kansas for nearly 45 years, handling criminal and white-collar criminal cases that have attracted international attention, including the defense of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

Monnat is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, and the Kansas Bar Foundation. He has been named one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Kansas and Missouri for the past three years, and has been included on the Super Lawyers Top 100 list for more than a decade.

A graduate of California State University, Monnat received his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College.

A frequent national lecturer and editorial contributor on criminal defense topics, Monnat is the co-author of “Sentencing, Probation, and Collateral Consequences,” a chapter of the Kansas Bar Association’s Kansas Criminal Law Handbook, 5th edition.  He currently sits on the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association’s Board of Editors.

Monnat served as a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Board of Directors from 1996 – 2004, and is a two-term past president of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.