Prosecutor: Jan. 6 Defendant Can’t Blame Trump

Prosecutor: Jan. 6 Defendant Can't Blame Trump Prosecutor: Jan. 6 Defendant Can't Blame Trump (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 14 April 2022 03:31 PM

In closing arguments in a case involving a Jan. 6 defendant, a federal prosecutor urged a jury to turn down a claim that then-President Donald Trump caused the man to breach the Capitol, Politico is reporting.

The case involves Dustin Thompson and allegations that he broke into the Senate parliamentarian's office twice and stole a bottle of bourbon and a coat rack on Jan. 6, 2021, according to The Washington Post. Thompson claimed during the trial that he entered the Capitol, in the hope of gaining Trump's "respect, his approval."

But during the closing arguments, prosecutors urged jurors to reject that claim and said it was a "sideshow."

"Defense counsel wants you to focus so much on what President Trump said on the morning [of] January 6. He wants you to forget what his client did on the afternoon of Jan. 6," said Assistant U.S. attorney William Dreher.

Defense attorney Samuel Shamansky told jurors to consider "human nature."

And Shamansky urged the jury to consider the "mental" impact that Trump's words in a speech earlier on Jan. 6 had over time. He told jurors Thompson had spent nearly a year out of work before Jan. 6 — isolated amid the pandemic, while he consumed pro-Trump information, Shamansky said, according to Politico

"In your hearts, in your heads," Shamansky said to the jury, "do the right thing."

The jurors were set to begin deliberations on Thursday afternoon.

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