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D.C Federal Court Judges Push Back Against Jan. 6 Conspiracy Rhetoric


In a growing number of cases, judges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia are using their platform to swat down conspiracy theories perpetuated by some Jan. 6 defendants and their supporters, reports CBS News. Some of the judges, who share responsibility and oversight of more than 1,200 Capitol riot prosecutions, have ratcheted up their denunciations of efforts to rewrite the history of the attack on the Capitol, just as Trump campaigns to return to the White House.


In early January, Trump said he considered the defendants imprisoned for their roles in the attack on the Capitol "hostages" and openly talked about offering them pardons. At a sentencing hearing for Capitol siege defendant James Little two weeks later, Judge Royce Lamberth, one of the most senior judges on the district court in D.C., uncorked a scathing rebuke of the falsehoods about Jan. 6 and those who were involved. "In my 37 years on the bench, I cannot recall a time when such meritless justifications of criminal activity have gone mainstream," he said. Alan Hostetter, a former police chief from California who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, chose to represent himself in court, calling the attack "a psy-op". Hostetter was sentenced to 11 years, one of the longest issued in any Jan. 6 case so far. Judge Ana Reyes criticized rioters who have equated themselves with revolutionaries and America's Founding Fathers. "I hate having to have these conversations. I hate that these conversations exist," Reyes said. The judges' rebukes aren't limited to Jan. 6 defendants. As Trump has persisted in his claims of being the victim of a political "witch hunt," judges have also rebutted those claims.

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