…from Politico

“The Steal” Trying to Steal the “The Devil made me do it” defense

[ Editor’s Note: I did not know what to think when the media initially reported that some lawyers for the insurrecitonist Trumpers might use the “Flip Wilson” defense, remembered well by us Vietnam Era people.

No matter how many times Wilson said it, his audience laughed like they were hearing it for the first time. But this week, Judge Beryl Howell sent a clear message to defense attorneys to not try to bring Flip Wilson in as a case precedent.

Michael Flynn and Roger Stone might find themselves still doing time for their crimes, as new Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that pardons with Trump co-conspirators were going to get a close review.

As Gordon mentioned yesterday, the phone logs of everyone at the Capitol, including staff, have not been reviewed by investigators yet. They will be a key area to be looking for how widspread was the insurrection control and coordination, including anyone using a burner phone, or who bought one just before January 6th.

I suspect the judges feel a heavy responsibility to not set a precedent to allow what happened on January 6th to be a model for other insurrecionists in future elections. I am waiting for when Trump’s Secret Service detail is questioned or deposed… Jim W. Dean ]

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At a bail hearing Tuesday for a Proud Boy member from Kansas accused of storming the Capitol, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell said she was dubious about the legal merit of the effort to shift blame toward the former president and his inflammatory rhetoric about the election.

…“This purported defense, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law,” Howell said during the videoconference court session for William Chrestman, 47. “Then, just like a king or a dictator, the president could dictate what would be legal and what isn’t in this country, and that is not how we operate here.”

…“Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did,” Chrestman’s lawyers, Kirk Redmond and Chekasha Ramsey, wrote in a court filing last week.

…“If President Trump ordered or instructed a member of the Proud Boys [to] go off and murder somebody and someone went off and did that, it follows that … would immunize them from liability for that criminal act? … In effect, isn’t that what your argument is saying?” the judge asked Redmond.

“I don’t think so. … It’s not going to extend to every defendant,” Redmond replied.

“You call it an organization. I call it a gang,” the judge said to Redmond.

You can read the full article at Politico here.


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  1. It’s a horrible defense for the defendants, but juicy meat for the prosecutor of the inciter.

    And it is par for the course as we watch it unfold, in the minds of those with warped ideas of the law and the right and wrongs of how things are supposed to work in the US. It is as if every step of the way, they beat themselves in the head with their own left hand.

  2. Judge Howell said “People who want to come visit D.C., Americans who want to come visit their Capitol, are they ever going to able to walk where we used to walk freely?” she asked. “It’s unclear, shockingly unclear.”
    Yes, nothing about these strange times seems clear.
    But, if our Federal government has a lot more people like judge Howell who appears to long for a return to normalcy and a respect for Freedom, maybe there is chance we’ll make it.

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