FILE - Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-year prison sentence for an off-duty Virginia police officer who was convicted by a jury of storming the U.S. Capitol. In a court filing Thursday, prosecutors say former Rocky Mount Police Sgt. Thomas Robertson used his law enforcement training to block police officers who were trying to protect the Capitol from a mob’s attack on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., want a Maine man charged with assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot to turn over more than half the money allies have raised online for his defense. 

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday filed a motion asking a judge to order Kyle Fitzsimons to have $12,300 of the $20,215 raised on the GiveSendGo website transferred to the government to help pay for his court-appointed attorney. 

Fitzsimons, 38, allegedly wanted the money to use the money to keep up with payments on his truck.

A cousin of Fitzsimons’ created the fundraising account, according to the motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. A screenshot of the fundraiser included in the motion described Fitzsimons as “a political prisoner.” It allegedly was removed from the site earlier this year, between June 1 and 9, after 266 people donated.

The cousin, not Fitzsimons, had access to the funds. She has not spoken with him since June and is not answering his calls, according to a phone conversation recorded between Fitzsimons and his mother.

Fitzsimons has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges related to the violent protest he took part in two weeks before the inauguration of President Joe Biden. His trial before a judge is set to begin Aug. 16. 

He was the first Mainer to be charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot. 

Fitzsimons is now one of four men with Maine ties of the nearly 900 defendants who have been charged in what the Department of Justice is calling the “Capitol breach cases.” He is the only defendant with ties to Maine who has been denied bail.

When he was arrested and charged in February 2021, Fitzsimons hired a team of attorneys in the Washington, D.C., area. They withdrew from his case three months later and a federal defender out of Philadelphia was appointed to represent him after Fitzsimons qualified as an indigent defendant. 

“In effect, by providing Fitzsimons with free legal representation while he raises money off his legal jeopardy, the taxpayers are subsidizing Fitzsimons’ truck payments and other personal expenses,” the motion said.

Taxpayers have funded Fitzsimons’ defense since May 2021. The $12,300 requested is the most an indigent defendant can be ordered to pay, the motion said.

It could not be determined Friday whether Fitzsimons’ attorney will object to the motion.

Until his arrest 18 months ago, Fitzsimons worked as a butcher at a southern Maine supermarket. He was part of a group that forced its way past police and into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of results in the November 2020 presidential election, according to court documents. He never made it inside but, wearing a butcher’s jacket and carrying an unstrung bow, he and others overcame officers in a police line.

Fitzsimons allegedly grabbed an officer’s shoulder and tried to pull him into the crowd. That caused him to fall, and the officer struck Fitzsimons in the head several times to free himself from the Maine man’s grip.

After being struck by a baton which caused his head to bleed and run down his face, Fitzsimons moved and charged at the line of officers, according to court documents. He allegedly grabbed an officer’s gas mask and pulled it to the side before another person behind Fitzsimons covered the officer in pepper spray. Details about the alleged assault on a third officer have not been released.

On Monday, the first defendant to go on trial for his role in the events of Jan. 6, Guy Wesley Reffitt, 49, of Wylie, Texas, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. 

Reffitt’s sentence is the longest imposed so far by a federal judge.