An Ohio man who allegedly took a coat rack from the US Capitol on January 6 could not call the former President Donald Trump as a defense witness at his upcoming trial, a federal judge ruled.
Dustin ThompsonThe 36-year-old is facing 12 charges in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol, when hundreds of Donald Trump Supporters flood the Capitol and temporarily prevent Congress from certifying Joe Bidenwon the 2020 presidential election. Thompson was charged with theft of government property with theft of a coat rack, obstruction of Congress, disorderly conduct and other charges.
His trial is set for April 11.
According to his attorney, Thompson planned to call Trump and some of his closest advisers as witnesses and had asked the court to appoint the U.S. Marshals Service to serve the subpoenas.
“Mr. Thompson intends to subpoena multiple witnesses involved in the planning and execution of the attempt to circumvent the certification of the 2020 presidential election,” said Thompson’s attorneys. Samuel Shamansky said in an application in January. “These witnesses include former President Donald J. Trump and several members of his inner circle, including Donald Trump, Jr., Rudolph Giuliani, Stephen BannonProfessor John Eastman, Stephen Millerand Lawyers L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell. ”
Thompson wants the U.S. Marshals to serve the subpoenas because of “the important role these witnesses play in the legal and political communities, and the evasiveness that some have historically demonstrated when confronted with the crime.” face a court order[.]”
In calling witnesses, Shamansky argued, Thompson hoped to bolster his right to defend “public authority,” asserting that he was acting with a “right to be trusted” on behalf of Trump and the government. United States government.
Senior Judge of the United States Reggie Walton denied the request in a filing Friday, saying not only was the improper use of the US Marshals Service, but the testimony of witnesses that would be from Thompson, unacceptable.
“[T]His direct testimony about presumptive witnesses is unacceptable under Federal Rule of Evidence 403 because the testable value of that testimony is substantially greater than the risk of confusion. problems and misleading the jury,” said Walton, one Mr. George W. Bush the appointee, wrote in the order denied the request. “Testimony about a staged or behind-the-scenes attempt to get supporters of former President Trump to commit acts that occurred on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, as alleged by counsel defense, is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with public statements that the defendant has actually heard”.
Walton said that “a recording of what the defendant heard at the time of the testimony” could be used instead.
In the footnote, Walton further explained his concerns about allowing such high-level witnesses to testify in Thompson’s case, saying it would lead to a “small trial” causing distracting from the actions of Trump and those in his inner circle that day.
It is inconceivable that any of the speakers would testify that they intended for those with whom they were interacting to perform the acts the accused committed, in no small part. because doing so could lead to charges against them. Therefore, they will most likely assert The Privilege of the Fifth Amendment may not incriminate themselves or deny that they intended to instigate the mob to commit acts that occurred on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. However, even if the speakers had to testify, testimony That would open the door for the government to pass -Check the speaker about their intentions in making the alleged statements. This will inevitably lead to a small trial on the matter of the speakers’ intentions in making their statements, which, as the Court concludes above, is completely unrelated to the impact of the statements on defendant’s intention. This fact is another reason not to allow speakers to testify at the defendant’s trial.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Thompson, surveillance footage shows him taking a coat rack from an office that has been identify as the Senate Office of the Congressman.
Authorities say Thompson was nearly arrested by Capitol Police on January 6 when he and his co-conspirators, Robert Lyons, was waiting for a ride out of the Capitol around 6 p.m., after the riots had largely subsided and Washington was put under a curfew. Police say they spotted Thompson and Lyons waiting for an Uber in a “safe area” and directed them to a location where they could be picked up.
“As Lyon and Thompson left to find their Uber, Thompson picked up a coat rack behind him,” the criminal complaint said. “The coat rack appears to have been taken from the inside of the Capitol building.”
Officers are said to have told Thompson to put down the coat rack. Thompson complied, but then fled when police tried to stop them from going any further, according to authorities.
Thompson is also said to have been seen on surveillance video carrying a bottle of bourbon out of his Capitol office; When police later searched Lyon’s bag, they found an open bottle of bourbon, along with some marijuana and two pipes.
The police eventually arrested Thompson and Lyon later that month.
On Tuesday, Lyon pleaded guilty to theft of government property and disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds. His sentence is set for June 3.
Read Walton’s command, below.
[Images via court filings.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-breach/an-ohio-man-accused-of-stealing-a-coat-rack-from-the-capitol-on-jan-6-cant-call-donald-trump-as-witness-at-his-upcoming-trial/ Judge Ends Dustin Thompson’s Hopes of Trump Trial Testimony