Ex-President Donald Trump has been directly implicated in another criminal case connected to the January rioting at the Capitol. Legal representation for Joshua Black, who’s facing charges over his participation in the rioting, argued in a new filing arguing for his pre-trial release from jail that Black’s actions constituted “an act of civil disobedience which he believed was warranted as the result of President Trump’s exhortations.” The rioters used Trump’s lie that the presidential election was rigged for Biden as an explicit pretense for their violence. Prior to January 6, Trump also admonished his supporters to show up in the city on that day.
Another Capitol insurrection defendant arguing Trump is to blame: "…an act of civil disobedience which he believed was warranted as the result of President Trump’s exhortations"
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 24, 2021
Black’s legal representation argued that his “intent upon entry was neither violent nor destructive,” although these claims don’t somehow erase the fact that he was part of a violent mob whose actions are connected to multiple deaths. Black’s representation added that he was only non-violent and “respectful” in his interactions with law enforcement at the Capitol, but his fellow demonstrators did not all share this modus operandi. Many of the defendants charged over the rioting are accused of assaulting law enforcement.
After the Capitol was breached, Trump, who was president at the time, explicitly justified the violence. He wrote on his since-removed Twitter account that “these are the things and events that happen” when a rightful election victory is stolen, which, of course, did not actually take place, no matter Trump’s rigged election claims. At the Capitol, those who assaulted officers included Federico Klein, a then-State Department staff member who continued on in his role in the Trump administration after participating in the rioting.
Another motion this week for pre-trial release from a different Capitol riot defendant, Daniel Egtvedt, also implicated Trump. Egtvedt’s legal representation insisted that he “was responding to the entreaties of the then Commander-in-Chief” and “did not act out of criminal intent but out of sense of conscience.” Meanwhile, Trump has continued to push the lie that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election, a claim that snowballed into the rioting in the first place.