Jan. 6 defendant who said he sought Trump's 'respect' and 'approval' convicted | The Hill
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • one month ago • 3 comments
By: Brad Dress (The Hill)
by Brad Dress - 04/14/22 8:32 PM ET
A man charged in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot who claimed to be following former President Trump's orders when he entered the building was found guilty on several charges by a jury Thursday.
Dustin Thompson, 38, of Ohio, was found guilty on six charges, including disorderly conduct, theft of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding, according to the Justice Department.
Thompson was among a mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol last year in an attempt to overturn certification of the 2020 election, which they claim was stolen.
During his trial, Thompson asserted he was following "presidential orders" when he went to the Capitol, citing a speech Trump gave in Washington, D.C., earlier in the day, CNN reported. Thompson testified that he felt like he "had to do something to gain his respect, his approval."
"Besides being ordered by the President to go to the Capitol, I don't know what I was thinking," Thompson told the jury, according to CNN. "I was caught up in the moment."
Other Jan. 6 defendants have also argued that they were encouraged by the former president to breach the Capitol as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump's actions leading up to and during the riot are the subject of an investigation by the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
At his speech before the riot, Trump told supporters to "fight like hell" for him, though the former president has said he meant for rallygoers to do so peacefully.
Ahead of his trial, Thompson had requested the court subpoena Trump to testify in his case.
In the request, his lawyer wrote the former president "orchestrated a carefully crafted plot to call into question the integrity of the 2020 presidential election" and allegedly deceived Thompson into "believing that American democracy was at stake if Congress was permitted to certify the election results."
According to the Justice Department indictment, Thompson traveled to D.C. from Ohio with his friend, Robert Lyon, to attend the rally. Thompson was pictured inside the Capitol building with a bottle of bourbon and a coat rack that he stole.
Around 6 p.m., law enforcement agents confronted Lyon and Thompson at a nearby intersection while the pair were waiting for an Uber.
Agents instructed Thompson to put the coat rack he had with him down, which Thompson did. When agents moved to detain the pair, Thompson fled.
Lyon did not attempt to flee and complied with the law enforcement agents. Thompson was later arrested on Jan. 25, 2021, in Ohio.
More than 770 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riot, while more than 250 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.