A House committee is currently investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol Building, even as the individual cases and charges trickle through the court system. As the committee moves forward with plans to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena, another defendant has claimed innocence in court, saying that Donald Trump authorized the attack.
Law & Crime reported on the filing, identifying Daniel Rodriguez as one of the defendants who is specifically charged for an attack on Officer Michael Fanone of the D.C. Metropolitan Police. Fanone has spoken about the experience, in which he was attacked by the mob, tased, and lost consciousness, and the trauma following the attack.
Rodriguez has admitted to tasing Fanone, offering excuses that he is “just not smart” and “thought we were doing the f***ing right thing,” and even suggesting that his tasing Fanone was somehow supposed to help.
Now he wants that confession suppressed in court, and has floated the possibility of using a “public authority” defense, claiming he can’t be convicted if he was acting on the authority of a government official — in this case, Donald Trump.
He’s not the first to cite Trump’s rhetoric as a motivating force. Even the man who is arguably the most recognizable face of the attack, Jake Angeli (also known as the QAnon Shaman) has pointed the finger at Trump, saying that he showed up because the then-president told him to do so.
According to the FBI‘s public statement, Rodriguez is charged not only with the attack on Fanone, but also with destroying government property, along with other charges.
…one count of obstructing an official proceeding; one count of impeding, obstructing, or interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a of civil disorder; one count of assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon; one count of theft of government property; one count of destruction of government property; and three counts of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building without lawful authority with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Aside from Trump, Rodriguez credits Infowars for radicalizing him and pulling him into the rallies and subsequent attack.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com