In just a few weeks’ time, the mainstream media will begin their odd reminiscence of the events of January 6th, 2021, with video montages scored in dark, foreboding tones, likely superimposed with themes about the “soul” of our nation and “danger to democracy”.
And they’ll lay it on thick, hoping to tie the greater MAGA Movement into the fray and damage Donald Trump’s chances at reelection in 2024.
But as much as we expect to see the media take the J6 committee’s final report as the end of the story, it isn’t, and there are still a great many criminal cases to be tried surrounding the events of that day.
This week, a federal judge’s ruling could greatly affect the way that these cases proceed.
A judge said former President Donald Trump’s words on Jan. 6, 2021, “could signal to protesters that entering the Capitol and stopping the certification would be unlawful.” | John Minchillo/AP PhotoTrending:
The Jan. 6 select committee’s finding that Donald Trump lured followers to storm the Capitol does not absolve them of legal responsibility for their actions, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, the first opinion to cite the congressional panel’s criminal referrals of the former president.
There was no way to misunderstand the ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge John Bates cited the select committee’s report and criminal referrals to swat down a Jan. 6 defendant’s claim that he believed Trump had authorized him and other rioters to enter the Capitol when he urged the crowd to march down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Bates, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that defendant Alexander Sheppard should be prohibited from making the “public authority” defense because there’s simply no evidence Trump told his followers that entering the restricted grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was legal. In fact, his incendiary rhetoric — especially telling his supporters to “fight like hell” — may suggest Trump was asking them to break the law, Bates said.
His words “could signal to protesters that entering the Capitol and stopping the certification would be unlawful,” Bates found.
Many defendants had suggested that Trump, acting as Commander in Chief, had ordered them to the Capitol during his public appearance that day, although Trump himself has yet to be credibly charged with “incitement” of such kind.