April 6, 2022

NEW VERDICT IN CAPITOL RIOT CASE THROWS A WRENCH INTO POLITICAL NARRATIVE:

A federal defense contractor who had been charged with four misdemeanors for walking into the Capitol on Jan. 6, fought the charges and was acquitted on all counts today by Judge Trevor McFadden. Matthew Martin was charged with: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, as well as parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

But Martin didn’t commit any violence or break into the building. He argued that he believed that the Capitol Police had allowed him into the building, and he just walked in.

From Politico:

McFadden said that, based on video of the scene, that assertion was at least “plausible” and that prosecutors failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“People were streaming by and the officers made no attempt to stop the people,” said the judge [….]

“I do think the defendant reasonably believed the officers allowed him into the Capitol,” the judge said.

McFadden said that the government did not show any evidence of Martin crossing police lines, and that Martin’s “conduct was about as minimal….as I can imagine.”

This is a significant verdict. While some are charged with more serious offenses, many of the people charged for Jan. 6 offenses are in a similar position to Martin — they didn’t do much beyond walk into the building. Some have argued — as Martin did — that the police let them in.

And as Julie Kelly tweets, “What’s notable in this trial isn’t so much that Martin convinced McFadden he was waved into the building but that a USCP official CONFIRMED under oath that police let people inside.”

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