19:47 GMT26 February 2021
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    Former US President Trump's legal team has denied the assertion that his January 6 call for supporters to "fight like hell" incited the deadly riot that took place soon after.

    Reuters reported Tuesday that a recently-obtained court filing from defense attorney Brandi Harden argued the conduct of her client, 20-year-old Maryland native Emanuel Jackson, and others who stormed the Capitol building on January 6, should be viewed as a spontaneous event, rather than a domestic terror plot. 

    “[T]he nature and circumstances of this offense must be viewed through the lens of an event inspired by the President of the United States," Harden wrote in the January 22 filing. 

    Jackson's defense attorney went on to add that the riot itself  “appears to have been spontaneous and sparked by the statements made during the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.”

    Speaking to supporters on the morning of January 6, Trump notoriously proclaimed that widespread voter fraud occurred in the November presidential election. "We will not take it anymore," 45 told rally attendees.

    He also asserted that supporters need to "fight like hell" to preserve the "country."

    Harden's filing also requested that Jackson, who has been behind bars since turning himself in to DC's Metropolitan Police Department on January 18, be released from jail until his preliminary hearing in February. 

    However, a judge rejected the appeal and also denied bail for the 20-year-old, whose actions and assaults were captured via video and photos. 

    "I had a bat. They were pepper-spraying people. Then, they got me in the eye," Jackson said when interviewed amid the incident. "Fighting for America. We've been taken over by globalists, by the Chinese. Fighting for America. I'm not here for Trump. I'm here for America." 

    Unconfirmed reports have claimed the 20-year-old is homeless and has known mental health issues. Nevertheless, Jackson is facing a litany of charges, including “assault on a federal law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon; knowingly engaging in any acts of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.”

    The 20-year-old also admitted in now-viral footage that he did not vote in the 2020 presidential election because he believed his "vote didn't count." 

    "But I learned a lesson, and I will vote next in the midterms and in other elections," he asserted.

    While Jackson surrendered to authorities, many riot suspects - like Bryan Betancur - were jailed after being tracked down. Betancur, also a Maryland resident, was easily located by law enforcement officers due to a court-appointed GPS monitor, which also placed him at the Capitol during the January 6 riot. 

    Despite his presence around the federal building that day, Betancur's parole office told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he was granted permission to sell bibles in Washington, DC, with evangelical Christian association Gideon International. 

    However, photos on social media, coupled with archived GPS data, suggest that he was doing more than selling bibles. A federal affidavit obtained by CBS Baltimore highlighted that Betancur has previously expressed “homicidal ideations, made comments about conducting a school shooting and has researched mass shootings."

    The filing also notes that Betancur has claimed allegiance to several white supremacist groups. 

    Federal authorities have charged Betancur with a number of offenses, including unlawful activity on Capitol Grounds. If found guilty, the Maryland resident's parole violation will likely result in harsher punishment than usual.  

    As riot-related arrests and federal charges continued to be announced, the nine Democratic House impeachment managers issued a pre-trial brief on Tuesday that urged US senators to convict Trump for engaging "in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States." 

    Even if all 50 Democratic senators vote to convict the US president on the single article of impeachment, the conviction threshold calls for a total of 67 votes - meaning 17 Republicans would have to vote "yay." 

    “President Trump’s conduct offends everything that the Constitution stands for,” the Democratic impeachement managers wrote in their 80-page memo. 

    “The Senate must make clear to him and all who follow that a President who provokes armed violence against the government of the United States in an effort to overturn the results of an election will face trial and judgment.”

    “The 45th President of the United States performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests of the American people,” Trump's legal team claims. 


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