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Judge says Trump may have been urging supporters to ‘do something more’ than protest on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON — A federal judge said on Wednesday that then-President Donald Trump’s remarks on Jan. 6, 2021, shook the crowd before the Capitol attack sent a signal to his supporters to “do more.” to “fight like hell”. Don’t just protest.

In a court order in a Jan. 6 lawsuit against defendant Alexander Shepherd, U.S. District Judge John Bates said after his attorneys argued that Trump had approved his client’s actions in the Capitol that day. Shepard ruled that the “public authority” defense could not be raised at trial.

Bates, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush, rejected the allegations, stating that “President Trump did not enter restricted areas of the Capitol grounds or the Capitol building or interfered with the authentication of electoral votes. It was lawful,” and therefore a defense by a public authority was not viable.

“These words only urge rally-goers to march to the Capitol, they don’t mention legality at all. But his clear words are about walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.” I’m only mentioning it, but in that context he was urging the protesters to do something more – perhaps enter the Capitol building and stop the authentication,” Bates wrote. .

In a footnote, Bates noted that his ruling was consistent with the commission’s final report on Jan. 6, noting that Trump knew the suspension of certification was illegal and therefore “wrongful.” concluded that he acted

His ruling was the first to cite a House panel report since it was made public last week.

Bates went on to say that phrases such as “fight like hell” cited by the commission “could let protesters know that it is illegal to enter the Capitol and suspend authentication.” .

“Thus, the conclusion reached here – that even if the protesters believed they were following orders, they were not misled as to the legality of their actions and therefore fell outside the defense of public authorities – is a choice. Consistent with the Commission’s findings,” Bates said.

He went on to say there was “no indication at all” that Trump had told the crowd that it was legal to enter the Capitol.

“His speech simply suggests that ‘stop stealing’ is a ‘daring’ act,” Bates wrote.

Danny Rodriguez was the January 6 mobster in the MAGA hat who put a stun gun in the neck of Michael Fannon, then a Washington DC police officer.

The strategy of blaming Trump has not proven effective in court. Dustin Thompson, who was convicted on all counts, told jurors he wanted Trump’s “approval” and believed he was “following the president’s orders.” Thompson was sentenced to three years in federal prison for stealing a coat rack and liquor bottles during a raid on the Capitol.

In its Shepard case filings earlier this month, the Department of Justice issued a statement that “President Trump or any other executive branch official has engaged in violent or offensive acts against law enforcement officials and interfered with the Electoral College.” It is objectively unreasonable to conclude that it is possible to allow it,” he said.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com.