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Capitol Rioter Seeks to Subpoena Trump and 'Conspirators' to Prove Trump Directed Him to Storm the Capitol

Capitol Rioter Seeks to Subpoena Trump and 'Conspirators' to Prove Trump Directed Him to Storm the Capitol
NBC News

More than 700 people have been arrested in the year since a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol, motivated by former President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him by Democrats engaging in widespread election fraud.

Many of the defendants charged in connection to the deadly failed insurrection have since claimed they were swindled by Trump's election lies into believing that storming the Capitol was protecting the democratic process, rather than directly upending it. YouTuber Zvonimir Jurlina, currently in litigation for his role in the riot, demanded in a video that Trump pay his legal fees insisting, "this all happened because of you." In a wildly offensive rant, the lawyer for Jacob Chansely, also known as the QAnon Shaman, said the rioters were "subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f***ing Hitler."

Even before a single rioter was arrested, insurrectionists were already citing Trump as their permission to storm the Capitol. One viral video from that day shows a soon-to-be rioter bellowing that they were "invited" there by then-President Trump, who instructed supporters to march on the Capitol at the conclusion of his so-called "Save America" rally outside the White House.

Now, yet another Capitol rioter is blaming Trump for the insurrection, and has asked the court to subpoena the former President to prove the claim.

In a recent filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, defendant Dustin Thompson's defense said:

“It is anticipated that, when called as a witness, Donald J. Trump will testify that he and others orchestrated a carefully crafted plot to call into question the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and the validity of President Biden’s victory. Moreover, It will be established at trial that Mr. Trump and his conspirators engaged in a concerted effort to deceive the public, including Defendant, into believing that American democracy was at stake if Congress was permitted to certify the election."

The document also lists Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as a conspirator of Trump's, citing Giuliani's endorsement of "trial by combat" in a speech at the same rally.

News of the request generated a host of reactions from social media users.

Given Trump's well-documented history of battling and defying subpoenas, people don't expect the request to end with a deposition of the former President.

Trump recently vowed to consider pardons of the January 6 rioters if he's reelected in 2024, though he hasn't announced a reelection bid yet.