An alleged participant on January 6, 2021, riots at the US Capitol has requested that Donald Trump testifies in his defense, arguing that Trump’s testimony will prove that the defendant was acting at Trump’s command.
Donald Trump’s lawyer, Dustin Thompson’s attorney, argued in a court filing that testimony from the former president would shed light on “the meticulously planned plot to call into question President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 and the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.”
As stated in a filing, a trial will show that the former president and his conspirators “engaged in a concerted effort to deceive the public, including Mr. Thompson, into believing that American democracy was at stake if Congress was permitted to certify election results.”
Mr. Thompson is accused of breaking into a restricted area, stealing government property, and acting in an unruly manner on government property. He has entered a not-guilty plea.
Thompson plans to use the “public authority defense,” which states that he “knowingly committed a criminal act but did so in reasonable reliance on the grant of authority to engage in illegal activity” from a government official, in a separate court filing on February 4th.
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According to attorney Samuel Shamansky, he may also argue on the basis of “honest belief that he was performing the otherwise criminal acts in cooperation with the government.”
Though not an affirmative defense, he argued, such an argument would weaken the government’s burden of proof in relation to criminal intent.”
If Mr. Trump and his allies, including Rudy Giuliani, testify as described above they will demonstrate their determination to prevent Congress from fulfilling its constitutional mandate of certifying the election results by “any means necessary,” according to the filing.
His second impeachment trial in Congress ended in an acquittal on charges that the former president encouraged an anti-Trump mob to storm the Capitol, fueled by an unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him.
There have been numerous attempts to blame former President George H.W. Bush for the attack. Such arguments have been routinely rejected by judges.
It was pointed out by an attorney for Joseph Padilla, the man accused of attacking police with a “Trump 2020” sign prior to the attack. QAnon shaman Jacob Chansley’s attorney argued that Mr. Trump’s “specific words” persuaded him to join the siege.
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Proud Boys member William Chrestman’s lawyer claimed that only “someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt to storm the Capitol,” according to reports.
The assault on Congress has resulted in the arrest of nearly 800 people.
Police say they’ve charged 225 people — including over 75 for allegedly using deadly or dangerous weapons and inflicting serious bodily harm on an officer — with assaulting, resisting, and impeding them, the US Department of Justice reports.
Federal buildings and grounds have been breached by at least 640 defendants, 75 of whom have been charged with entering a restricted area in possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon.