On Thursday, CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, the leading correspondent covering the January 6 criminal cases, explained how one defendant's plea for mercy could ultimately impact other trials moving forward.
"At first, it was just a curiosity," said MacFarlane. "Something I heard a few times, jotted down in my notebook, and kind of left it there. But now it's happening so often, it's worth a deeper review. One after another, January 6th defendants, when they go before a judge to seek leniency, are using some variation of the phrase 'caught up in the moment,' or 'caught up in the crowd,' 'caught up in the fervors,' 'swept up in the crowd,' 'caught up in the chaos.' It's becoming a refrain."
MacFarlane then zeroed in on a particular case that caught his attention.
"Today was sentencing day for Zachary and Kelsey Wilson of Missouri," continued MacFarlane. "And in their sentencing hearing, we heard it nearly a half dozen times. Some variation of 'I was caught up.' Kelsey Wilson said she was 'caught up in everything.' Zachary Wilson said something a little more unique, saying, 'I was caught up in President Trump telling everybody the election was stolen. He had everyone enraged.' The judge listened to those arguments, and sentenced Zachary and Kelsey Wilson to a short period of home detention and probation. Prosecutors were seeking 14 days behind bars for both."
"But the thing is, it's not just the defendants," said MacFarlane. "Increasingly, we are hearing judges using a variation of that refrain. In fact, the judge sentencing the Wilsons today said that Kelsey Wilson seems to have gotten 'caught up.' Now, it's far from clear whether there's any connection between that phrase and leniency at sentencing, but it's quite likely other January 6th defendants who've yet to plead guilty or yet to face sentencing are listening in or getting reports about what's happening in the other cases. And likely, they're hearing this. And this refrain could continue, it could increase."
"There are more than 700 federal defendants. As of tonight, the U.S. Justice Department tells me about 200 have pleaded guilty," added MacFarlane. "Which means there are many more who will face a judge, seek leniency, and have an opportunity to argue about being 'caught up.'"
Jan 6 defendant pleading for leniency says he was \u201cCaught up in President Trump telling everybody the election was stolen. He had everyone enraged"\n\nThose words could impact future defendants at sentencing \n\nMy latest ====>pic.twitter.com/F311xqZbem— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1643327059
Donald Trump Jr. says intel officials are 'lying' about potential for Russian cyberattack in bizarre Hannity rant
Donald Trump Jr. cast doubt on intelligence warning that Russia could launch a cyberattack on American assets during an animated appearance on Sean Hannity's show on Thursday.
Trump Jr. said that talk of Russian retaliation for America's assistance to Ukraine was part of an effort by Democrats to distract from domestic problems.
"I get to read reports saying that intelligence is saying that Russians may be launching a cyber attack on America," Trump Jr. said. "I don’t think so! I imagine that’s our people lying to us to try to instigate getting us into another war to distract from the incompetence!"
Although President Joe Biden has provided military assistance to Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression, he has repeatedly ruled out sending American troops into the country to fight against Russia.
Trump Jr. then went on to claim that Ukraine is "calling in favors" from Biden to cover up his son's alleged corruption, despite the fact that multiple European countries are also sending military assistance to the nation.
Watch the video below.
Jr: I get to read reports saying that intelligence is saying that Russians may be launching a cyber attack on America. I don\u2019t think so. I imagine that\u2019s our people lying to us\u2026pic.twitter.com/jEhDTbgKrW— Acyn (@Acyn) 1643336829
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is complaining about Donald Trump's "language" after the former president called Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) a "jerk."
However, Noem refused to say whether the 2020 presidential election was fair — which is the underlying issue that led to Trump's attack on Rounds.
Earlier this month, after Rounds said the 2020 election was "as fair as we have seen," Trump issued a statement saying he would "never endorse this jerk again.” Trump also suggested that Rounds was either "crazy or stupid."
During a news conference on Thursday, Noem was asked about her reaction to Trump's statement.
“We all know that we have times that we don’t like what President Trump says and what he’s — language that he’s used,” Noem responded. “I know Mike Rounds personally. He is not a jerk. He is a good man.”
Asked whether the election was fair, Noem said, "President (Joe) Biden is the president of the United States today. I do think there was election discrepanices from state to state."
She went on to claim, falsely, that due to the pandemic, governors were allowed to sign emergency orders "that allowed them to conduct their elections however they wanted to."
"We saw from state to state, election laws be violated and changed," Noem alleged. "People could mail in their ballots when that's not in their state statutes to do so. People could allow unions to collect ballots. There was different things that happened in every single state, so we know that from state to state, we saw things happen that we would not call fair, but President Biden is the president of the United States today."
Asked whether the alleged "discrepancies" could have changed the outcome of the election, Noem responded, "There hasn't been proof that it would have changed the outcome."
"So was President Biden fairly elected president?" a reporter asked.
"We shall see," Noem responded. "I understand there's still legal challenges out there, but it has not been up for debate that (Biden is) the president of the United States. I've always clearly said that."
Kristi Noem on Trump's 'language' www.youtube.com