The most significant individual case so far from January 6 is now being heard before a jury in Washington DC. The case centers on the leaders of the Oath Keepers, who are accused of seditious conspiracy to attempt to overthrow the government as part of a coordinated plan. Now the AP is reporting that the defendants’ plan is to put Trump at the center of a bizarre and highly dangerous (to Trump and Oath Keepers) defense.
From the AP:
The defense team in the Capitol riot trial of the Oath Keepers leader is adopting an unusual strategy centered around Donald Trump. Lawyers for Stewart Rhodes, the extremist group’s founder, are ready to argue that the jury cannot find him guilty of seditious conspiracy because all actions he took before the January 6, 2021 siege are preparations for orders were he expected then—President—orders that never came.
Right. Except that’s not a defense. Because if the “orders never came,” then what did they try to overthrow the government?
Rhodes intends to take a stand to argue that he believed Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act to summon a militia to assist him, his attorneys said. Trump didn’t do that, but Rhodes’ team says what prosecutors are calling an illegal conspiracy was “actually lobbying and preparing for the president to implement” the law. It’s a new legal argument in what is one of the most serious cases since the Capitol attack.
Right. Only that’s still not a defense, “Roman” whatever it is. “Actually lobbying and preparing for the president to apply the law” doesn’t allow you a freebie in trying to overthrow the government.
One wonders. Rhodes will take a stand. Rhodes will talk about “anticipated orders”. Will Rhodes turn the process and the country on its head by pointing the finger directly at Trump and saying, “He informed us…” because it sure sounds like that’s the defense they really want to use and just dance around it? They would never, ever telegraph this defense in advance, Trump would rage and rage, and the Oath Keepers themselves could be targeted. But with ten to twenty years waiting to see how the trial plays out, Rhodes might be ready to blow the lid on anything. Probably not. But, wow, the stars are sure that he does.
And it’s still not a defense, even if Trump ordered them to. But it could easily be a factor in sentencing.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, columnist, author and lawyer. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teens and college days in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. Today he enjoys life as a single father to a young girl and writes on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves making his flower pots, cooking and is currently studying philosophy of science, religion and non-mathematical principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please do not hesitate to contact us for lectures or other concerns.