According to a court filing, the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to prohibit members of the Oath Keepers they’ve levied charges of seditious conspiracy against from shoving blame for their actions off onto former U.S. President Donald Trump when they are federally tried later in the year.
As both the sides attempt to press for specific jury limitations, the Justice Department seems to be hoping to establish individual accountability for members of the Oath Keepers, which may strictly prevent any of those on trial from shifting personal blame off onto Trump as a scapegoat.
Just as well, multiple newly released pre-trial court filings that reached the media on Friday have given a bit of insight into what arguments the Justice Department could be making in the coming months, as well as what evidence they will likely be presenting.
New filing in Oath Keepers case. Attorney says DOJ slow-walking use of informants and possible use of a FISA (!) warrant. pic.twitter.com/HyPsm8kDIm
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) August 1, 2022
Reportedly, that includes a so-called “death list” and other threatening messages and notes written about government officials, according to defense lawyers. Further cementing the idea of individualized accountability, it seems that the prosecutors will be attempting to maintain an unyielding focus on personal responsibility in regard to the defendants, leaving no room for those on trial to play it coy and chalk their actions up to simply following the word and orders of then-President Trump.
“Any ‘public-authority’ defense put forth by the defendants would fail for two reasons: no government agent possessed actual authority to order the defendants’ criminal actions, and, in any event, it would have been objectively unreasonable to rely on any such order,” trial lawyers from the Department of Justice wrote of the case.
Judge Mehta, who declined Trump's motion to dismiss 3 civil related lawsuits, is really the man of the hour. He also rejected the Oath Keepers attempts to delay their trial set for 9/26. The lead charge there is seditious conspiracy so we will be learning tons from DOJ evidence.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) August 2, 2022
“President Trump did not have the authority to permit or authorize a conspiracy to forcibly oppose the authority of the government or the execution of the laws of the United States, nor could he have lawfully sanctioned the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 or any of the other criminal conduct allegedly perpetrated by defendants,” they continued.
Good. Important DOJ seditious conspiracy case against Oath Keepers will go forward in September. https://t.co/jtBZ3PiX57
— Andrew Weissmann (@AWeissmann_) August 2, 2022
Furthermore, prosecutors are also seeking to prohibit the defendants from making any attempt to argue that police officers at the Capitol were in support of or condoned what they were doing because law enforcement failed to halt the breach of the Capitol building.
DOJ urges judge to reject delay in Oath Keepers trial https://t.co/hoCwIKBCCI
— #TuckFrump (@realTuckFrumper) July 26, 2022
However, this is not the first time the Department of Justice has enacted a similar approach. Other individuals arrested for actions pertaining to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building have been subjected to much the same treatment as an attempt to limit what arguments can be made by defense teams. Ultimately, a judge will be the one to decide if such a cap on what defenses can be used is an ethical decision and said judge will have the final say in the matter.