Monday, February 8, 2021

Accused rioters blame Trump for ‘inspiring’ US Capitol violence | Al Jazeera

Accused rioters blame Trump for ‘inspiring’ US Capitol violence

As the US Senate prepares for the historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, some of the accused rioters who occupied the US Capitol on January 6 are using his words as their defence, according to court filings.

Emanuel Jackson, who court filings describe as a “recently homeless” Black man aged 20, was allegedly caught on camera using a metal baseball bat to strike police protective shields as rioters breached defences in an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Jackson’s lawyer, Brandi Harden, wrote in a filing calling for pretrial release that Trump “roused the crowd by telling them ‘we will stop the steal’ and ‘you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength, and you have to be strong … if you don’t fight like hell you are not going to have a country any more'”.

As such, “the nature and circumstances of this offense must be viewed through the lens of an event inspired by the President of the United States”, Harden wrote.

A judge on January 22 denied the request, but Jackson is not the only accused rioter to use this defence...

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