The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued that the founder of the Oath Keepers group who allegedly entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6 can't blame former President Donald Trump for criminal acts during the breach, according to a recent filing.
The DOJ is seeking a ruling to prevent attorneys for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and other members of the group from being able to make that argument in opening statements to the jury or while questioning witnesses.
“Any ‘public-authority’ defense put forth by the defendants would fail for two reasons: no government agent possessed actual authority to order the defendants’ criminal actions, and, in any event, it would have been objectively unreasonable to rely on any such order,” DOJ lawyers added in the filing about the case," adding that the "defendants cannot satisfy any part of the entrapment-by-estoppel test."
What's NextProsecutors also want to block lawyers for Rhodes and other Oath Keepers members from claiming that Capitol Police officers and other law enforcement supported the defendants' actions on Jan. 6, 2021, because they allegedly did not try to stop them from entering the Capitol.
“If I were given a chance to give an opening statement, I’m writing up what I would give them,” Rhodes said on July 10. “If they decline to accept my offer, I’m going to go ahead and publish my opening statement.”
Members of the Jan. 6 committee, which has been derided by Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, "should jump at the opportunity, but they won’t because they don’t want that," Rhodes argued. “What they want is what you’ve seen, which is just a scripted, controlled, pre-screened show trial. They’re only going to put people in front of the public that they know are going to say what they want them to say.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Rhodes's attorney, James Bright, for comment on the latest filing. Rhodes's trial is scheduled to start on Sept. 26.