Justice Department doesn’t want Oath Keepers to blame Trump in trial
The DOJ’s requests come as both sides of the case aim to shape the boundaries of a jury trial. Several new pre-trial court filings on Friday also preview some of what the DOJ plans to show in the trial. It contained threatening notes and messages about government officials – including those labeled “deathlists”, defense lawyers say.
Prosecutors’ planned approach to the trial is to keep the jury focused on the defendants’ personal responsibilities and not allow them to say they were following Trump’s orders, according to the filing.
“Any ‘public-authority’ defense given by the defendants would fail for two reasons: no government agent had a real authority to order the defendants’ criminal actions, and, in any event, any such reliance It would have been objectively unfair to do the order,” Justice Department trial lawyers wrote of the case on Friday. had no authority to authorize, nor could it legally sanction, the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol or any of the other criminal conduct allegedly committed by the defendants.”
Prosecutors also want to restrain defendants from trying to argue that law enforcement at the Capitol condemned the rioters’ actions because they did not prevent breaches of the building, their court filing says Friday.
Those sworn in are accused of conspiring to block the transfer of power by training them in advance in 2020, then stocking up on arms around the borders of Washington, D.C. for January 6, and moving together on the Capitol.
The defendants, for their part, are trying to keep the details out of the trial. One defendant, Thomas Caldwell, has asked the judge not to allow a jury to learn about him trying to buy or manufacture a gun, his co-defendant Jessica Watkins has instructions on alleged bomb-making, and a About the document called “Death List”. “Found at his home in the days after the January 6 attack.
The handwritten note contained the names of Georgia election workers. According to Friday’s court filing, prosecutors would like to use it as evidence of their intent at trial, but Caldwell’s lawyers say it was simply a “doodle pad” and not a list.
Caldwell’s lawyers wrote in the court filing, “The government’s trial strategy is focused on putting a nefarious spin on every private communication that Caldwell and his co-defendants have ever made, and then a selection of photographs of guns for the jury.” holding the bunch.” He cited a text Caldwell wrote to a friend, “Tell me who to shoot first and I’m all in!” – A political joke, lawyers argue – Caldwell wrote, referring to health agency official Anthony Fauci, then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and others, “There are not enough pills to properly thin the herd!”
Lawyers for Watkins argue that the bomb-making instructions are not relevant to the case.
The Oath Keepers’ seditious conspiracy case is set for hearing initially in September in Washington, DC. A total of nine defendants, including Rhodes, are fighting their charges.
12 January 6 defendants have been convicted in the trials so far as part of a wider investigation, and have pleaded guilty to over 300 of 800 charges, including two admitted to conspiracy to commit treason.
Of the hundreds of January 6 cases, only one rape defendant has been acquitted by a judge.