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Jury Convicts Jan. 6 Rioter Who Says Trump Ordered Capitol March

A January 6, 2021, rioter who testified that he believed he was "following presidential orders" from President Trump when storming the Capitol and stealing liquor and a coat rack was found guilty of felony obstruction of an official proceeding and five misdemeanors by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports. Dustin Thompson, 38, testified that he traveled from Columbus, Oh.,, to Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally in the hope of gaining Trump’s “respect, his approval." “Besides being ordered by the president to go to the Capitol, I don’t know what I was thinking,” Thompson told jurors. “I was caught up in the moment.” Thompson is among the first defendants to blame Trump for the mob violence that erupted at the Capitol. He said he is “deeply ashamed” of his actions, and that he was misled by Trump’s “outlandish” claims of widespread voter fraud. Thompson testified that at the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the riot, Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” against the confirmation of Joe Biden's electoral win. “If the president’s giving you almost an order to do something, I felt obligated to do that,” Thompson said.

In addition to the felony obstruction count, Thompson was convicted of misdemeanors including theft of government property, disorderly conduct, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. He was released from jail after his arrest in January 2021 and now will be jailed pending sentencing on July 20. “His conduct, in my view, was reprehensible,” said U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said after the jury’s verdict was announced. “In my view, I don’t think he was candid when he testified.” A total of 150 people have been sentenced for their actions in the Capitol riot, but only two have been sentenced on the felony obstruction charge. Both of them, Paul Hodgkins, and "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley pled guilty.


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