They launched their assault on the U.S. Capitol with impunity, livestreaming their crimes and posing for photos as they breached the building’s perimeter and threatened the democratic process. Now members of the pro-Trump mob are arguing they shouldn’t be held to account.
Speaking through defense lawyers or in interviews, the alleged rioters argued they did nothing illegal. They couldn’t have been trespassing, they say, because they entered the Capitol at the “invitation” of President Trump, following his direct orders. Capitol police also held the doors open for them, they assert, basically ushering them into the building’s hallowed halls. Even so, knowing that time is running out on Trump’s presidency, they are also making a last-minute case for clemency to avert prosecution, appealing to the man who allegedly incited them to act.
“I would like a pardon from the president of the United States,” said Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent charged in the storming of the Capitol, in an interview with CBS News late last week. “I think that we all deserve a pardon. I’m facing a prison sentence. I think that I do not deserve that.”
Adam Newbold, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, told ABC News that he was seeking “clemency” after posting a Facebook video boasting about “breaching the Capitol,” which brought FBI agents to his door for an interview.
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