Prosecutors Say Man With QAnon Ties Opened Fire At Portland Courthouse To 'Get Himself In Front Of A Judge'

He won't serve any jail time.

Cody Melby Youtube / Department of Justice

Cody Melby is a 40-year-old man, as described by his lawyer, an “intensely patriotic person.”

Melby has strong opinions regarding the validity of the 2020 presidential elections and was cited for criminal trespassing on January 6th, during a stop-the-steal rally while he was attempting to enter the Oregon State Capitol with a gun.

Melby wanted to express his dissatisfaction and political views in front of a federal judge. So, that begs the question, how does one get in front of a federal judge?


Melby’s answer to that question was, to put it mildly, extreme.

Cody Melby is accused of firing a gun at a federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

Melby did get what he wanted, he appeared in front of a federal judge after the Jan 8 shooting. He pled guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in a federal facility, a felony.

Melby has also posted several videos online espousing QAnon conspiracy theories and spreading lies surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

Usually, this crime would result in a prison sentence if convicted.

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Despite pleading guilty and being convicted both Melby’s defense and the prosecution called for leniency.

Melby isn’t exactly off of the hook as he’s been sentenced to less than a year of community confinement and five years of probation.

The reasons cited by the federal prosecutor for going easy on Melby are that he had no prior criminal record and that the circumstances surrounding the case somehow made Melby’s actions more forgivable.

The federal prosecutor said of Melby at the time at which he opened fire at the courthouse, “During this time, he became fixated on the civil discourse surrounding the 2020 protests, as well as the presidential election… As the court notes, there [were] publicly posted YouTube videos of the defendant advocating for violence in support of his views….Mr. Melby was determined to get himself in front of a federal judge to express those views. He determined that he needed to fire a weapon at the structure of the Hatfield courthouse.”


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Judge Karin Immergut, who presided over the case, expressed concerns over the prosecution’s leniency.

The prosecution also rationalized Melby’s actions by mentioning that he did not aim for any part of the building where he could have hurt someone. The prosecution claimed that the defendant essentially just used a firearm to commit vandalism.

The prosecution also said of Melby, that he was an army veteran that had been wounded in a rocket attack during his service and that he was just doing what he felt was his patriotic duty to protect his country.

By shooting at a federal courthouse… In the immediate aftermath of the January 6th insurrection.


During the trial, Melby claimed to have had top-secret security clearance while in the Army.

Melby said of his secret information, “My statement before you today is simple: I’m here to state that, under penalty of perjury since my permanent retirement from the Army, I’ve been involved in a series of military operations on American soil for the Trump administration. It is important that I come forward as a whistleblower, because our Constitution has possibly been subverted due to loopholes and inadequate government.”

Judge Immergut agreed with the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation but only on the condition that Melby be treated at a mental health facility.


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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.