Judge rips Capitol rioter's Trump defense

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  drakkonis  •  5 days ago  •  37 comments

By:   Josh Gerstein (MSN)

Judge rips Capitol rioter's Trump defense
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell was unpersuaded by a Proud Boys member's claim he was heeding the then-president's direction by storming Congress.

Good for this Judge! If you can't be accountable for your own actions then maybe you shouldn't be allowed to participate in public life without responsible supervision. It doesn't matter if Trump directly told them in very specific words to go attack the Capitol. They have a responsibility to examine what it is they feel they are being told to do or even personally desire to do and determine the morality of it and the legality of it. If they still go ahead and do it, they should be prepared for the consequences without complaint. 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A federal judge is signaling that she's not a big fan of an increasingly common defense emerging from lawyers for those charged in the Capitol Riot: President Donald Trump made me do it.

© John Minchillo/AP Photo Violent protesters storm the Capitol, in Washington on Jan. 6, 202.

At a bail hearing Tuesday for a Proud Boy member from Kansas accused of storming the Capitol, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell said she was dubious about the legal merit of the effort to shift blame toward the former president and his inflammatory rhetoric about the election.

"This purported defense, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law," Howell said during the videoconference court session for William Chrestman, 47. "Then, just like a king or a dictator, the president could dictate what would be legal and what isn't in this country and that is not how we operate here."

Lawyers for Chrestman pointed to several Supreme Court cases that they said indicated that guidance from government officials can sometimes be a defense against criminal charges. They said Trump's encouragement amounted to that kind of all-clear for those who forced their way into the Capitol during the counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

"Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did," Chrestman's lawyers, Kirk Redmond and Chekasha Ramsey, wrote in a court filing last week.

The defense attorneys also cited Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement following Trump's impeachment trial that those who besieged the Capitol "believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President."

Howell called the defense argument "quite interesting," but it quickly became clear she was deeply skeptical of its legal merit. Raising Trump's famous comment during the 2016 campaign that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in New York City and get away with it, she asked the defense lawyers to appreciate the implications of their position.

"If President Trump ordered or instructed a member of the Proud Boys [to] go off and murder somebody and someone went off and did that, it follows that … would immunize them from liability for that criminal act? … In effect, isn't that what your argument is saying?" the judge asked Redmond.

"I don't think so. … It's not going to extend to every defendant," Redmond replied.

Howell said a 1965 Supreme Court case that Chrestman's team cited, Cox v. Louisiana, involved an issue of where protesters could stand on a sidewalk and nothing akin to shutting down a joint session of Congress. "In this case, I would say an instruction from a federal official to disrupt a constitutionally mandated function is far different from a traffic kind of administrative decision," the judge said.

Chrestman faces a series of felony charges, including conspiracy to interfere with police during civil disorder and to obstruct an official proceeding. He's also charged with threatening police while carrying a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors say he wielded an axe handle during the riot, using it to block emergency shutters that police were trying to close to protect themselves. They also say he urged the crowd to prevent officers from arresting one of the protesters.

Last week, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas City, Kan., ordered Chrestman's release to home detention to await trial. On Sunday, however, Howell granted the government's request to stay that release order while she considered the issue.

Howell has ruled for the release of two defendants whom the government wanted detained, while temporarily blocking a series of releases by magistrates across the country and eventually ordering that some of those people be held until their trials or other resolution of their cases.

At the conclusion of Tuesday's hearing, Howell said it was evident to her that Chrestman was in the category that he should not be released.

"He cannot be trusted to abide by any condition for release the court might impose instead of pretrial detention," the judge said. "I don't find this case to be a close call at all."

Howell said the fact that Chrestman came to D.C. with "a gas mask, a hard helmet and a club" strongly suggested he was expecting a violent confrontation. She also said his connection to the Proud Boys group meant he was dangerous.

"You call it an organization. I call it a gang," the judge said to Redmond. "The fact that [Chrestman] continues to be a member of the Proud Boys is danger enough, isn't it?"

At numerous bail hearings in the Capitol-riot-related cases now flooding the court just blocks from the site of the Jan. 6 violence, the chief judge has sometimes offered vivid condemnations of the attack and deplored how the episode has disrupted life in the city and the country.

That was the case again Tuesday as Howell lamented the security fencing and the deployment of National Guard troops, while observing that Chrestman's trip to Washington last month was not taken as an ordinary tourist.

"He was not planning on looking at the sites, which are now totally off limits to citizens living in this city, surrounded by barbed wire," the judge said. "He wasn't coming to stroll around the reflecting pool and looking at the sites and the monuments."

Howell — who served for years as a lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee before being appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama in 2010 — suggested that she was eager to see those security eyesores removed but wasn't sure when or if it will be safe to do so.

"People who want to come visit D.C., Americans who want to come visit their Capitol, are they ever going to able to walk where we used to walk freely?" she asked. "It's unclear, shockingly unclear."

Continue ReadingShow full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
1  seeder  Drakkonis    5 days ago

Only a child would use the defense "the devil made me do it." It's an attempt to shirk responsibility for one's own action. In my opinion, a lot of what is wrong with our country is because people aren't taking personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Drakkonis @1    5 days ago
"...a lot of what is wrong with our country is because people aren't taking personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions."

Like refusing to adhere to strict guidlines to prevent spreading Covid-19.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Drakkonis @1    4 days ago

But these domestic terrorists/tRump's mob - were heeding his 'orders'.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Drakkonis @1    4 days ago

Now isn't there something in our law that says something to the effect..."That which is necessary is legal."

Example.....You take it upon yourself to run a red light in order to get someone in your car to the hospital that is having a heart attack.

I know its a reach, but hey..... If they were convinced that the election was stolen.....

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Drakkonis @1    4 days ago

In my opinion, a lot of what is wrong with our country is because people aren't taking personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions. 

After all the criminal proceeding are finished, I am waiting for the civil suits against Trump to start.  The claim of "he told me to" will hold a bit more weight in a civil courtroom.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Freshman Principal
2  Gsquared    5 days ago

It's the Nuremberg defense:  "I was just following orders."  And it doesn't cut it.

Trump may be criminally liable for incitement, which remains to be determined, but it's no excuse whatsoever for the individual's own criminal misconduct.  

I like that the judge refused to release him from custody.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
2.1  seeder  Drakkonis  replied to  Gsquared @2    5 days ago
I like that the judge refused to release him from custody.

I think it was a good decision on her part.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
2.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Gsquared @2    5 days ago
It's the Nuremberg defense:  "I was just following orders."  And it doesn't cut it.

It didnt work too well during the tokyo trials either , nor has it since.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
2.2.1  seeder  Drakkonis  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @2.2    5 days ago

Well, whatever happens to the defendants, I hope they learn something about personal responsibility and consequences. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
2.2.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  Drakkonis @2.2.1    4 days ago

Why do I fell like many of them won't and will instead say they are just being picked on? 

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.2.3  JBB  replied to  Thrawn 31 @2.2.2    4 days ago

Any other time in any other place a bunch of yahoos who mount a credible insurrection against a sitting government that fails, it has not ended well for the failed insurrectionists.

These traitors are getting off way too easily!

 
 
 
devangelical
Masters Expert
2.3  devangelical  replied to  Gsquared @2    5 days ago

as long as the judges stick the insurrectionists with the maximum sentencing on each crime they've committed, I'm happy. rightwing domestic terrorists need to see what happens when they attack and obstruct the Constitutional process.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
2.4  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Gsquared @2    4 days ago

On this we are in complete agreement. This guy and those of like mind need to be locked away in solitary confinement away from decent law abiding people.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
3  Tacos!    5 days ago
"This purported defense, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law,"

Of course it would. Even where you have inchoate crimes like conspiracy or soliciting, we hold all parties accountable. Nobody gets away with crime because someone else encouraged them to do it.

"You call it an organization. I call it a gang," 

Interesting. Is that intended officially as a judicial finding?

"People who want to come visit D.C., Americans who want to come visit their Capitol, are they ever going to able to walk where we used to walk freely?" she asked. "It's unclear, shockingly unclear."

Woah! Someone is buying into the hype, aren't they? I see no justification for that level of hysteria, and expressing it (along with the gang comment) from the bench is already giving the defense grounds for appeal.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1  seeder  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @3    5 days ago
Interesting. Is that intended officially as a judicial finding?
Woah! Someone is buying into the hype, aren't they? I see no justification for that level of hysteria, and expressing it (along with the gang comment) from the bench is already giving the defense grounds for appeal.

Have to agree with you. I think she's making mistakes by saying what seems essentially her personal opinions on subjects that don't directly relate to the case. Such things may have a relation to the sentencing phase, but I have doubts about their relevance to what is being prosecuted. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Tacos! @3    4 days ago

I'm not an expert in legalese, but yep, I can see an appeal due to prejudice of the court being filed.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu     5 days ago

Its all sad, sometimes I think the saddest part of all of trump's reign may be the multitude he brainwashed. 

www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-chemistry/201803/the-art-brainwashing

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4    4 days ago
I think the saddest part of all of trump's reign may be the multitude he brainwashed. 

stuff like this was around long before trump , i saw it back in the late 80s and early 90s with the sovereign citizen  movement , freeman movement , on through the early militia movements of the late 90s and into the teens , there always have been and always will be people that think like those groups . if someone didnt see it its because they didnt want to or didnt care because they came off as crackpots.

 what they didnt have through all those times was media coverage and a voice in power which i do consider trump to have given them a voice , but that voice would have been stifled as crack pots as they always have been if the media wasnt so prone to want to be the first to scoop or report and incite and sensationalize what they are reporting .

That is just my opinion .

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.1  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1    4 days ago

Very true Mark, trump's following by everyone via every media outlet helped lead to trump's ability use the many megaphones he has had and used to lead so many people's believed to be what benefits trump best.

Over and over. 

trump is a master manipulator and IMO: too many people are too easily manipulated. 

trump at all cost ?

NO WAY !!  

IMO: I never underestimate this megalomaniac !! 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.1    4 days ago

point is many were manipulated way before trump came along , he was just the match that lit the fuse , the powder ked and fuse have always been there .

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.1.3  JBB  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1.2    4 days ago

We need a Benghazi style investigation into the whose, the wheres, the whens and the hows about this whole insurrection business. The FBI and national security should be able to round up the main suspects and have them testify in front of Congress. No more of this pussyfooting around the issue. The whole thing was admittedly preplanned. We need, nay, we demand our deserved answers...

No matter how. No matter who. No excuses!

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.4  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1.2    4 days ago
point is many were manipulated way before trump came along , he was just the match that lit the fuse

I think we both are making the same point in different ways. I agree the manipulated were already manipulated, trump gave them voice,  power and direction.. trumps direction..trump's power.

trump gave reverence to and mobilized many of the disenchanted conservatives. 

Before having a leader many radical right wingers were lone wolf types. trump made it OK to come out in the open and organize even more. 

But I agree the manipulated were already here. Though not quite such a concern to our democracy.

IMO: 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.5  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  JBB @4.1.3    4 days ago

I fully agree JBB.

I really think that trump himself was more than likely involved in the delay and lack of preparation to defend the capitol.

IMO: This was trump's last stand, he wasn't likely to plan its failure. As we all have seen !  

Thankfully trump's inability to plan anything in any detail ... trumped trump.

Long live our Republic ! 

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
4.1.6  JBB  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.5    4 days ago

Mike Pence actually saved the day by finally getting the reinforcements needed to reestablish order and repel the insurgents.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.7  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.4    4 days ago
Though not quite such a concern to our democracy.

others can keep their idea of a democracy , i will keep my constitutional representative republic , as long as i can keep it .

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.8  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  JBB @4.1.6    4 days ago

Mike Pence acted more presidential in the end than trump ever did that's for damn sure !

Much Much more !!

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.9  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1.7    4 days ago

Me too.

Where I went to school, WE were referred to as a democracy... lol  .. It stuck.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.10  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.9    4 days ago

funny thing , no where in the governing document  the Constitution, or any that preceeded it, is the word democracy , or democratic form of government . Know what is mentioned in the Constitution? the guarentee to the people to have a republican form of government . And that was written before there was even an inkling of a republican party.

 those that do not believe me can go read the constitution , it doesnt take long.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.11  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1.10    4 days ago

I now know that and kind of laugh at myself when I realize that once again I have called our government a democracy.

old habits die hard. lol 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.12  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.11    4 days ago

It is not hard to make that conclusion in my opinion . we have a democratic party , members of that party call themselves democrats . we elect our representation and president using the democratic method of voting , if one follows the line its not hard to think its a democracy.

 when my kids were in school , they asked me how I defined the difference between a democracy and a republic . I tried to make it as simple as i could .

 I told them in a democracy when it came time to make the laws and policy , if there were 100 people voting on it all it took was 51 people and thats what the law would be , if 51 out of that hundred said that the law should be that you have 5 apples you picked , you had to give 4 of them to the government , thats the law they voted for .

 a republic , especially a constitutional one , the government is usually restricted from making such laws protecting you from the majority  taking 4 of your apples , instead like in our constitutions case the government can tax ( take your apples , but they have to make sure that everyone has to give the same number of apples as you if they have the same amount so they take 2 from everyone and not 4 from just some . i never did have to talk to them about a progressive tax system.they never asked .

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4.1.13  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4.1.12    4 days ago

That's a pretty good simple explanation. 

I don't remember but a couple of times a teacher ever saying a constitutional democratic republic. 

LOL I guess it was easier to say "A democracy" 

2 and 2 is 4 though .. correct ?

lol Gotta love them small town teachers. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.14  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.5    4 days ago
"I really think that trump himself was more than likely involved in the delay and lack of preparation to defend the capitol."

He was.  You can count on that.  That evil scumbag Stephen Miller, had a big hand in the planning of this.  You can count on that too.  

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.15  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @4.1.13    4 days ago

I tried to keep it age appropriate so they could understand it , I think they were 8 or 9 at the time , i wasnt about to try to explain a high school or college level explaination where it makes it more complicated and they wouldnt or couldnt really understand . I figured just take it in steps as their understanding grew.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
5  Thrawn 31    4 days ago

Lol wow, they are really trying to use the "I was just following orders" defense? The reason that defense has been almost universally rejected is because the eventual end point is "I saw it on TV, thus I am not responsible." "Someone else gave me the idea, thus they are responsible for my actions, not me."

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
5.1  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Thrawn 31 @5    4 days ago

When your president tells you to do something ...... 

..... Many do it. 

Thankfully in trump's case many more knew not to. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
5.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @5.1    4 days ago

Lol or just didn't know what "doing it" actually meant. 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
5.1.2  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Thrawn 31 @5.1.1    4 days ago

lol True

I'd say many followers did not get the "Doing it" some did and tried.

IF everyone there had gotten the "Doing it" they may have succeeded in taking the government hostage to the point trump could have issued a statement of marshal law. 

trumps only last real chance of staying in power by then. 

That's the thing about a lack of detailed planning and using code that not everyone understands. 

Failure. trump trumped trump

I'd hate to see it if trump gets a second chance. He's learned much I'm sure. 

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online



Sean Treacy


44 visitors