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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, October 03, 2022

With the historic case that they had brought against Oath Keepers accused of plotting to attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, prosecutors framed up how the jury should think about the allegations with an hour-plus opening statement that kicked off the trial in earnest.

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T"he Justice Department began its opening statement with the accusation that the defendants sought to "stop by any means necessary" the lawful transfer of presidential power, "including taking up arms against the United States government."

Nestler started with a reference to the "core democratic custom of the routine" transfer of power, which Nestler said stretched back to the time of George Washington.

"These defendants tried to change that history. They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy," Nestler said."

Damn those antifa tourists!

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2022-10-03 09:41 PM | Reply

Oath Keepers on Trial
www.lawfareblog.com

...It's around 8:45 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, and I'm in an elevator at the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse, squeezed between a federal prosecutor and defense counsel for a far-right paramilitary leader.

The elevator isn't particularly crowded with people. But we're packed in there anyway, because the prosecutor has luggage.

He is transporting a comically large exhibit poster to Courtroom 23, where the defense attorney's client, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, is set to stand trial for seditious conspiracy.

As we ascend to the fourth floor, the prosecutor looks over at his opposing counsel and gestures toward the exhibit poster, which appears to be a kind of "Who's Who" of right-wing insurrectionists"a visual aid to help jurors remember the names, faces, and connections between various conspirators involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building.

I spot a photo of Rhodes near the top of the exhibit.

The prosecutor taps the poster. "We've got our secret evidence right here," he jokes.

"That gonna be what wins it?" the defense attorney retorts.

I've been in the courthouse for three hours already.

It was still dark outside when I arrived earlier that morning for opening arguments in the Oath Keepers trial.

While more than 880 people have been charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol building, this Oath Keepers case has emerged as the most complex and high-profile to date. It involves the stiffest charges"not just conspiracy but seditious conspiracy, which is the baddest-ass kind of conspiracy you can be charged with. It involves Oath Keepers, who along with Proud Boys, are the most organized group involved in the insurrection. And it involves a lot of co-defendants, five in this trial alone"including the Oath Keeper-in-Chief, Yale Law School graduate Rhodes.

Part of the complexity in the case stems from the nature of the most serious charge levelled against the co-defendants. Seditious conspiracy at its core requires the government to prove not merely that the defendants conspired to do something unlawful, but that they conspired to use force "to resist some positive assertion of authority by the government." If convicted, Rhodes and his brethren could face up to twenty years in prison on that charge alone.

Now, at 9:13 a.m., we all rise as U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta enters the room. As a first order of business, he notes that there are several outstanding motions to discuss before the jury joins us in Courtroom 23.

He starts with a motion from defendant Kelly Meggs, who filed an eleventh-hour motion for a bench trial"a trial decided by a judge rather than a jury"just last night. "Does the government consent to the bench trial of Mr. Meggs?" Mehta asks. Citing the Supreme Court's decision in Patton v. United States, the government notes the "public interest" in a jury trial. After Mehta presses for a clear "yes" or "no" answer, the government says it would "defer to the court" on the appropriateness of a bench trial. Mehta seems annoyed with the non-committal nature of this reply, but he's prepared to rule from the bench. He denies the motion. ...


As usual, a deeper dive from lawfareblog.com.



#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-10-04 02:54 PM | Reply

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