Judge in Trump J6 conspiracy case throws out motion to remove references to Capitol riot

"Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Federal judge Tanya Chutkan issued a ruling on Friday rejecting 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s request that paragraphs including "inflammatory allegations" regarding January 6, 2021, be removed from the federal January 6 conspiracy case against him.

"Regardless of whether the allegations at issue are relevant, Defendant has not satisfied his burden to clearly show that they are prejudicial. He argues that sharing the allegations with the jury may result in prejudice at his trial 'because members of the jury may wrongfully impute fault to [him]' for 'the actions at the Capitol on January 6,'" the opinion states.

Chutkan wrote that the jury will not be provided a copy of the indictment, "eliminating that source of potential prejudice."

The judge said that the Reply in Support of the Motion, filed by Trump’s team on Wednesday, "devotes only a single paragraph to the prejudice requirement."

Chutkan said that the court will "take steps to screen from the jury any irrelevant and prejudicial material that either party seeks to introduce," and the voir dire process will "will allow the court to examine and address the effects that pretrial publicity."

The motion was initially filed on October 23 by Trump's attorneys and stated that the indictment in the case does not charge Trump with the actions undertaken by independent actors on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol and references thereof should be removed from the indictment.

"Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory. Therefore, the Court should strike these allegations from the Indictment," the document states.

The motion cites paragraphs 10(d) and 105 through 113 of the indictment, which speak on the actions at the riot on January 6. stating that the allegations related to January 6 are not relevant as he has not been charged directly for the day.

The Reply in Support, filed on November 15, states, "The prosecution now seeks to try President Trump for crimes the grand jury never charged, based on actions President Trump did not take, in a place he never was on January 6, by people he never directed, and opposite to actions he actually did take and statements he made. All with the goal of inflaming and prejudicing the jury."

Paragraph 10 section D of the indictment alleges that when efforts to have then-Vice President Mike Pence block the certification of the electoral college failed, "on the morning of January 6, the Defendant and co-conspirators repeated knowingly false claims of election fraud to gathered supporters, falsely told them that the Vice President had the authority to and might alter the election results, and directed them to the Capitol to obstruct the certification proceeding and exert pressure on the Vice President to take the fraudulent actions he had previously refused."

Paragraphs 105 through 113 talk about the afternoon of January 6, when people broke through the barricades around the Capitol building and eventually entered the building itself.

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