Skip to Main Content

March 25, 2019: Jake Burdett, Statement of Facts


On or about October 2, 2018, Jake Burdett (“Defendant”) along with a members of an organization called Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) arrived at the Salisbury Office of Congressman Andy Harris requesting a meeting with Congressman Harris. The group did not have an appointment but Bill Reddish, Congressman Harris’s Community Liaison offered to meet with the group. Mr. Reddish gave the group the option of meeting outside the office where the group was gathered or meeting with a smaller subset of the group in his office because his office did not have space for the whole group. The group elected to select a smaller group to meet in Mr. Reddish’s office space and Defendant was a member of the group selected to meet with Mr. Reddish.

Upon entering the office, members of Congressman Harris’s staff noticed members of the group recording with their cell phones. The staff member told the members of MDMJ that Congressman Harris’s office has a policy that they do not allow recording in their office spaces. At that point, Mr. Reddish reiterated that there could be no recording of the meeting. Other members of the group agreed to stop recording but Defendant continued recording without the consent of Mr. Reddish, placing his phone on his lap and streaming Mr. Reddish’s comments for the entire approximately forty-five minute meeting on Facebook Live.

As the group was leaving one of Congressman Harris’s staff members heard one of the members outside express something along the lines of “I got it all—I was watching the whole time” which led her to suspect the meeting had been recorded. Another staff member then discovered that Defendant had live streamed the video onto his personal Facebook page. Congressman Harris’s staff in the Kent County Office, the Washington D.C. Office observed the video along with countless other followers and commenters on Defendant’s Facebook page. Defendant also engaged in a dialogue with other members of his personal network about the recording.

If called to testify, Mr. Reddish would identify Defendant as one of the people in the meeting as well as the individual who called him and apologized for making the recording without Mr. Reddish’s consent. The recording took place in Wicomico County, State of Maryland.