Dustin Thompson, an Ohio man charged with his role in the January 6 Capitol attack, is arguing in court that former President Donald Trump “approved” the insurgency, according to NBC News.
“Dustin Thompson, 38, of Ohio, is the third Jan. 6 defendant to face a trial by jury after the convictions of Guy Reffitt and former police officer Thomas Robertson,” reported Ryan Reilly. “Thompson faces six charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and theft of government property. His co-defendant, Robert Lyon, pleaded guilty last month, admitting that he and Thompson traveled to Washington together, stole a coat rack, and fled from police when they were confronted on the grounds of the Capitol.”
FLASH: Another jury trial.. another quick conviction in a US Capitol riot case
Dustin Thompson, who defended himself by saying he was following Donald Trump's orders, is found guilty on ALL counts pic.twitter.com/QDbUxwmxid
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) April 14, 2022
“Samuel Shamansky, an attorney for Thompson, told jurors Tuesday that his client had ‘snatched the coat rack, foolishly,’ and that there was ‘no question that his client took part in the ‘horrible’ event on Jan. 6 that interrupted a ‘solemn and sacred proceeding,'” the report continued. “But, Shamansky argued, the ‘genesis’ of the attack began months before Jan. 6, and responsibility fell at the feet of Trump, who ‘authorized this assault’ on the Capitol.”
Thompson has maintained for months that Trump pressured him into entering the Capitol, and at one point even sought the court to appoint U.S. Marshals to assist him in subpoenaing Trump, as well as his associates Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, for testimony.
Dustin Byron Thompson's defense team is the first to argue that Donald Trump and those connected to him were responsible for the actions of those on Jan. 6, 2021. https://t.co/cpGKjikeYy
— WFAA (@wfaa) April 15, 2022
Several of the defendants in the January 6 case have attempted to blame the previous president for their actions. Prior to the incident, Trump claimed that the 2020 election was rigged and urged his fans to “fight like hell” for him at a rally in D.C. While the incident was taking place, he expressed sympathy for the attackers and waited hours before publicly telling them to leave — all of which contributed to the former president’s second impeachment.
Insurrectionist Dustin Thompson found guilty. Takeaway? 1. He WAS following Trump’s orders, but, 2. that does not constitute a legal defense, however, 3. it IS evidence that can be used to prosecute Trump for inciting the insurrection. #JusticeMatters video dropping soon. pic.twitter.com/aoQlZ0XwBX
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 14, 2022
While several judges have decided that Trump is to blame for the attack, this has not exempted most rioters from imprisonment.
Thompson, a 38-year-old Ohio exterminator, was charged with six counts, including obstructing an official proceeding, theft of government property, illegally entering the Capitol, illegally demonstrating in the Capitol, and two counts of disorderly behavior in the Capitol.
Jan. 6 rioter Dustin Thompson, who told jurors he was "following presidential orders" when he stormed the Capitol, has been found guilty for his role in the insurrection. @AriMelber drops bars from rapper @vincestaples to discuss the verdict pic.twitter.com/pKWUsZjPJ3
— The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC 📺 (@TheBeatWithAri) April 14, 2022
Federal Judge Reggie Walton slammed former President Donald Trump’s behavior after the verdict.
“The insurgency, and it was in effect that, is very troubling,” Walton said. “I think our democracy is in trouble because unfortunately, we have charlatans, like the former President, in my view, who don’t care about democracy and only care about power.”
Judges get it. Juries should too. https://t.co/SLtDpDQCzt
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) April 14, 2022
The trial was the first time a defendant accused of being involved in January 6, 2021, Capitol riots tried to persuade a jury that Trump was to blame. Thompson’s lawyer told the jury that Trump was an “evil and terrible guy” who instigated the disturbance with his incendiary address at the Ellipse, in which he encouraged followers to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”
Thompson stated that he thought he was acting on Trump’s orders.
Jan. 6 defendant Dustin Thompson GUILTY on all charges. including felony obstruction of Congress.
More on the case:https://t.co/uolGhCGILU
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 14, 2022
“Besides being ordered by the President to go to the Capitol, I don’t know what I was thinking,” Thompson told the jury Wednesday. “I was caught up in the moment.”
“If the President is giving you almost an order to do something, I felt obligated to do that,” Thompson said.
BREAKING: January 6th defendant Dustin Thompson—who claimed he was “just following Trump’s orders to siege the Capitol”—found guilty on all charges, including felony obstruction of Congress.
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@AmoneyResists) April 14, 2022
Prosecutors mocked this notion, claiming that Thompson is an adult capable of making his own decisions and informing the jury that it was not Trump who was on trial.
“This is not President Trump’s criminal trial,” prosecutor William Dreher said Thursday. “This sideshow about the defense attorney trying to make you mad” at Trump “is just that, a sideshow.”