Storming the Capitol
Statements made by former US President Donald Trump before storming the Capitol pointed to the illegal nature of the protests, according to District Judge John Bates, who is prosecuting Alexander Sheppard, who is accused of committing six crimes during the rally. This was reported by Politico newspaper.
"Even if the protesters believed they were following orders, they were not being misled as to the legality of their actions," the paper quoted Bates as saying.
The conclusion of the US House of Representatives Select Committee on the investigation into what happened on January 6, 2021, that Donald Trump incited Americans to storm does not absolve its participants from legal responsibility for their actions, he is convinced. According to the judge, it could be inferred from the ex-president's call to "fight the hardest" that he was asking to break the law.
On that basis, Judge Bates disagreed with Sheppard's lawyer's claim that he acted with "Trump's authorisation" and was therefore innocent.
Trump supporters stormed the Congress building on 6 January 2021 to prevent the results of the country's November 2020 presidential election from being approved. The election was won by Democrat Joe Biden. During the rioting inside the building, police shot and killed a demonstrator. In addition, there were unrelated deaths of several other people, classified as medical emergencies. A Capitol Police officer died after the clashes.
Trump and other Republicans have claimed systematic voting irregularities since the November 2020 election. They repeatedly went to the courts to demand recounts in a number of states. However, the Republicans' actions were unsuccessful and their claims were rejected by the courts, including the US Supreme Court. On 20 January 2021, Biden was inaugurated.