A federal judge tore into the organizers of the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol, saying they “stoked the flames of fear” and deserve to be held accountable for what they unleashed, Politico reports.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson isn’t wrong. We all heard former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani urge Trump supporters to have “trial by combat.” There is a video clip of Donald Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle saying she hopes that then-Vice President Mike Pence has “the courage or the brains to do the right thing” and block the confirmation of Joe Biden as president by Congress. And of course, on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol as Congress was certifying the results of November’s presidential election. There are so many examples.
Jackson described the actions of the former president and his allies as a key driver of what would ultimately become the violent assault that left more than 140 police officers injured, four members of the mob dead, and millions in damages.
As Politico notes, Jackson didn’t mention Trump by name, but the Judge was clearly referring to the former president’s remarks when she described the goal of those leading the Jan. 6 rally. Jackson said their efforts “deliberately stoked the flames of fear and discontent and explicitly encouraged [attendees] to go to the Capitol and fight for one reason and one reason only: to make sure the certification of the election didn’t happen.”
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“Jackson’s comments came as she delivered a sentence to Jan. 6 defendant Russell Peterson, who was charged with illegally entering the Capitol but not with committing any violence or destruction,” the outlet reports. “She’s the latest federal judge to invoke Trump’s conduct as a contributor to the chaos and violence of that day and urge accountability. Judges on the federal bench in Washington, D.C., have expressed a range of views about the culpability of the former president for the riot, but several, like Jackson, have more squarely put the onus on Trump in recent weeks.”
“Peterson’s attorney Dani Jahn had argued that Trump and other allies, including his family members and attorney Rudy Giuliani, bore responsibility for the actions of the rioters, particularly after ginning them up with incendiary speeches that morning,” the report continues.
Jackson agreed with the overall assessment, but told the defendant, “No one was swept away to the Capitol. No one was carried. There may be others who bear greater responsibility and should be held accountable. But this is not their day in court. It’s yours.”
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery