A prominent critic of COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Simone Gold, is claiming personal bias from the judge who sentenced her to 60 days in federal prison for entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Gold personally knew Christopher Cooper—the judge presiding over her case—and says that she had previously declined a date with him while they were studying in law school, alleging that it could have been a reason for personal bias in the case.
“The fact that I went to law school with this person and the fact that he didn’t recuse himself and then [what] he revealed during sentencing … I felt was such incredible bias,” Gold told The Epoch Times.
She also thinks that the judge was “furious” at her and her organization, America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) for raising money and thought it was “very strange” that he read her support letters.
Gold and Cooper were both at Stanford Law School, class of 93.
“We all knew each other. And we were in the same class.” Gold said, adding that she knew him by his nickname Casey.
She went on saying they had “regular pleasantries” but a couple of times she remembers they spent a bit more time together.
“One of those times I distinctly remember we took a long walk. It was maybe two hours.
“And it was pleasant and it was nice. And I learned he went to Yale undergraduate. He struck me as very ambitious. And I think his family was somewhere from the south.
“I thought he was cute. I could tell he thought I was cute,” Gold said.
Gold then said that about two weeks after, they ran into each other at school and talked for about 10 minutes, adding that Cooper asked her on a “real date” and she declined.
“And then he asked me on a real date,” she said. “And I declined, because I just didn’t see any future for him and me, but I remember him fondly like, I didn’t remember much at all, but to the extent I remembered him, it was perfectly pleasant.”
Jan. 6 Involvement
Gold surrendered herself to the federal detention center in Miami at 2 p.m. on July 26.
Gold was initially charged with entering a restricted building or grounds, violent entry, and disorderly conduct, and arrested on Jan. 18, 2021. She spent two days in custody. On March 3, 2022, she pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of illegally entering the restricted building. Gold was sentenced on June 16 to serve 60 days in jail, one year of supervised release, pay a $9,500 fine, and $500 restitution.
While inside the building, Gold delivered a speech through a megaphone to a crowd gathered in Statuary Hall, where she stated her opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and government-imposed lockdowns.
During her June 16 sentencing hearing (pdf) Cooper told Gold that even though she had pled guilty, he doesn’t think she had “truly accepted responsibility.”
“Your organization has used your notoriety to raise money and garner support for you in connection with this sentencing and for its general operations by mischaracterizing what this proceeding is all about,” Cooper said.
“And it’s done so by telling your supporters that, quote, this is a political persecution of a law-abiding physician that is designed to threaten and intimidate any American who dares to exercise their First Amendment rights. And all of the letters that I’ve read and emails have repeated that exact sentiment.”
Gold says that her legal fees were completely paid out of her own pocket.
“The fundraiser, which AFLDS set up ~January 2021 stated it was for my legal fees and any remaining funds would go to the lifesaving work of AFLDS,” Gold said.
“Despite raising the money I then took none of it. I paid the lawyers myself. The amount raised would have probably still been insufficient if I had gone to trial—and that huge expense contributed to my decision to take a plea,” Gold added.
Letters of Support
Cooper, during the sentencing hearing, then read parts of some letters showing support for Dr. Gold:
“This is from a gentleman in California. ‘Dr. Gold did nothing wrong that day except read her speech in regard to safe and effective treatments. She’s being suppressed and censored.'”
“‘She has a right to speak. Americans have a right to hear her. The J6 witch hunt is still raging.'”
“This is from—I’m not sure where this supporter lives, but another supporter writes, ‘She merely exercised her rights as a concerned citizen. Another, ‘Dr. Gold did nothing wrong in expressing her medical opinions. Our Constitution proves and provides the right to free speech.'”
“‘She is only guilty of having compassion and humanity,'” Cooper read.
Cooper then said: “All of that may be true, all right, but that’s not why we’re here, all right, and your organization is leading people to the misimpression that this is a political prosecution or is about free speech. It ain’t about free speech.”
The judge said that Jan. 6 was not about the First Amendment and “certainly not about COVID treatments or vaccinations.”
“You have obviously found many platforms from which to share your views about those topics, all right? And you are free to do so so long as you don’t violate any laws. And I may have views about that message, but those views are absolutely totally irrelevant to this proceeding. The only reason you’re here is where and when and how you chose to express your views, and I want to be very clear about that,” Cooper said.
The Epoch Times reached out to the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, for comment.
Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.