The defense of “Trump Do It Myself” already looks like a long-term vision.
Faced with disgusting evidence in the deadly siege of the Capitol last month-including social media posts boasting of his actions -The mob argued in the court that they were acting on the instructions of President Donald Trump on January 6. However, at least one judge has rejected this legal strategy. Experts believe that this argument is unlikely to get anyone out of the predicament of the uprising. Five of them died, including a policeman.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell recently stated in an order: “This kind of claimed defense, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law, because then, like a king or a dictator, the president can instruct What is illegal in this country, and what is not in this country.” The pre-trial detention of William Chrestman, the boy was a suspected member of the Kansas City Regional Chapter of Pride Boys. “That̵
Krestman’s lawyers argued in court documents that Trump gave the mob “clear permission and encouragement” to do what they did, and provided “a practical defense of criminal responsibility” to those who obeyed him.
“Imagine waving sticks, flags and bear spray towards the U.S. Capitol to deal with armed and well-trained law enforcement officers. It’s amazing. Only people who think they are officially recognized can try this kind of thing. Chrestman’s attorney. Wrote: “A proud boy who has been following will believe in what he does. “
Trump was found not guilty of inciting rebellion during the second impeachment trial. In this case, the Democratic Party’s defense lawyers presented some of the same arguments in the criminal court. Some Republican lawmakers said that a better place for the accusations against Trump is also in court.
At the same time, prosecutors have so far filed charges against more than 250 people in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil strife and obstruction of formal procedures. The authorities recommend imposing the rare crime of sedition on certain people. Hundreds of Trump supporters rushed into the Capitol, filmed videos on social media, and posted selfies in the building, so they could not exactly argue in court that they were not there. Blaming Trump may be the best defense they have.
“When you shoot a videotape next to the Capitol with a coat rack in your hand, what is a better argument?” Sam Shamansky said he was an Ohio man Dustin Thompson (Dustin Thompson). Thompson), accused of stealing the coat rack during the riot.
Shamansky said that if Trump did not “call him there,” his client would never go to the Capitol on January 6. He added that Trump was involved in “cunning but effective brainwashing activities” and supporters believed that the election was stolen, putting them in a position that they “felt the need to defend their country at the request of the commander-in-chief.”
“I think it’s appropriate,” he said of the defense. “The more subtle question is: who will buy it? What kind of jury do you need to understand?”
Although experts say that accusing Trump may not be able to get their clients out, it may help sentencing when they ask the judge for clemency.
“This may be considered a mitigating factor, the person truly believes that they are just following the instructions of the American leader,” said Barbara McQuade, a former American attorney in Michigan, who is now at the University of Michigan Law School. professor. .
Experts say that it is also possible to bring any potential cases against the former president.
New York City white-collar criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon said: “The defense is dead on arrival.” “But I do think that if the Department of Justice or the Washington, D.C., attorney general starts Regarding the accusation of inciting an uprising against him, the defendant’s statements were led by Trump, which caused him trouble.”
The legal threshold is high The former president has already faced a lawsuit from Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson (Bennie Thompson) due to the prosecution of Trump during the siege of the Capitol. He is accused of conspiring with extremist organizations to prevent Congress from proving the election results. And there will be more lawsuits.
Trump made unfounded claims about the election for several weeks and addressed thousands of supporters at a rally near the White House. Before the Congressional riots, they told them that they had gathered in Washington to “save our democracy.” Trump later said: “I know everyone here will soon step into the Capitol and hear your voice in a peaceful and patriotic manner.”
Attorney for Jacob ChansleyThe shirtless man wearing facial paint and a horned hat in the Capitol, before the riots, attached an important transcript of Trump’s speech to a court document and demanded that Chansley be released. Defense attorney Albert Watkins said the federal government is sending a “chilling message” that “if they execute what the president asks them to do, Americans will be prosecuted.”
Defense lawyers did not achieve better success with other strategies. In one case, the judge claimed that the defense lawyer’s description of the riot was “unconvincing and out of touch with reality” as merely intrusion or civil disobedience. In another case, the judge rejected a person’s claim that he was “lied” to join the anti-government oath organization and participate in the attack on the Capitol.
Other defendants connected to the militant group also tried to blame Trump and demanded that they be released from prison before trial.Lawyer of Jessica Watkins The members of the guardians of the oath said that if Trump invokes the “Insurgency Act” to continue to serve, local militias will be taken into action. Watkins rejected the oath guard at a court hearing on Friday, saying that she had been “terrified” by her colleagues in the far-right militia.
Her lawyer wrote: “Despite being misled, her intention has nothing to do with the intention to overthrow the government, but to support a government that she believes to be legitimate.”
Meanwhile, Dominic Pezzola’s lawyerAnother suspect, who appears to be a proud boy, said that he “became a patriot who protects his country out of delusion.” Defense attorney Jonathan Zucker described Pezzola as “by the president” One of millions of Americans who deceived and misled”.
He wrote: “Many people who pay attention to his phone calls will spend a lot of money, if not the rest of their lives, they will spend it in prison.” “At the same time, Donald Trump has regained his luxury. And a privileged life.”