Capitol Hill rioters from January 6 are now facing legal retribution for their actions. These individuals who stormed the Capitol have federal charges against them along with the very high likelihood of decades in prison.
Many of the January 6 rioters are in shock. They believed their actions would result in Trump serving a second term in the Oval Office. When this failed to materialize, at least some of the insurrections thought Trump would issue them pardons before leaving office. This didn’t happen, though, and now the rioters are looking to save themselves.
As of right now, the most popular defense being used by Capitol rioters is that Trump called for them to act in their chosen manners. According to Breitbart News, these talking points from their rioters and attorneys are now being referenced by House impeachment managers in the Senate trial against Trump.
Ammunition in the Senate Impeachment Trial
Left-wing groups and House impeachment managers, in a nutshell, are claiming that the remarks from rioters themselves prove that Trump incited the events of January 6.
Multiple insurrectionists who now face lengthy prison sentences have asserted that Trump “called” them to Washington D.C.; others stated that they were simply following the requests of the president.
"I was doing what he asked us to do."
“The president asked people to come…it’s the least that we can do.”
"My president called me to DC."
It's not just Democrats saying that Trump incited the Capitol insurrection. It's many of the accused Capitol rioters themselves. pic.twitter.com/hBtjS3euH4
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 8, 2021
Now, at no time did Trump instruct anyone to storm the Capitol. The 45th president also never told his supporters to get into fights with law enforcement or scale buildings; however, this doesn’t matter to the former president’s enemies.
Right now, the words of rioters looking to avoid legal consequences are giving fodder to the impeachment managers working against the 45th president. Trump’s attorneys, however, still argue that Trump’s remarks preceding the riot are safeguarded by free speech rights.
The Danger of Criminalizing Words
Many Republicans in Congress are warning against the precedent of legally penalizing speech. Others have pointed out that if leaders are to be held responsible for the actions of their supporters, then there are many Democrats in Congress who should face impeachment as well.
The article of impeachment isn’t just about accountability.
It’s about PREVENTION.#DefendOurDemocracy
— House Democrats (@HouseDemocrats) February 6, 2021
Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate will commence today at 1:00 PM. Both sides are going to have time to make their arguments accordingly. There is no set timeframe for precisely when the impeachment trial shall end; however, it’s expected to carry into next week.
What do you make of the Capitol rioters who claim they were merely following the orders of then-President Trump? Share your thoughts with us down below in the comments section.