An attempt by three Republican lawmakers to visit jailed Jan. 6 rioters has backfired for at least one defendant.
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) were turned away Thursday from the D.C. Department of Corrections, and the following day a federal judge cited the attempted visit as a "concern" while keeping in place some court restrictions in one case, reported NBC's Scott MacFarlane.
HEADS UP: Federal judge in DC has just cited "active political disputes" over the 2020 election and the protest by… https://t.co/dhwmQ5sLbL— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1627660468.0
Alex Harkrider, a Donald Trump supporter from Texas, has asked to have some conditions of his pretrial release lifted, but the judge cited the attempted visit as a "concern" and kept those restrictions in place.
The 34-year-old Carthage man has asked to have his ankle monitor removed, saying the $110 monthly cost was a financial burden and physical hardship as he awaits trial for civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, theft of government property, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on capitol grounds or buildings, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
The judge described the lawmakers' actions as "active political disputes" over the insurrection that justified keeping the restrictions in place.
Harkrider is accused of traveling to Washington, D.C., with guns, a ballistic vest and a Tomahawk axe and going inside the U.S. Capitol with the intention "to obstruct the historically peaceful transition of power and overthrow the government."
Here's the exact law legal experts think Trump broke when he ordered DOJ to declare election 'corrupt'
Bombshell revelations emerged on Friday that former President Donald Trump told the top officials at the United States Department of Justice to declare the results of the 2020 election "corrupt" in a desperate bid to cling to power.
Many legal experts, including conservative attorney George Conway, think that this is a clear violation of 18 U.S.C. § 610, which details actions that constitute illegal coercion of political activity.
Specifically, the law states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, any employee of the Federal Government... to engage in, or not to engage in, any political activity, including, but not limited to, voting or refusing to vote for any candidate or measure in any election, making or refusing to make any political contribution, or working or refusing to work on behalf of any candidate."
Conway on Twitter argues that this technically would have made it a crime for Trump "merely to have ordered the acting attorney general to march down Pennsylvania Avenue with a 'Trump 2020' flag," and he believes this is much more serious.
The law also states that anyone found guilty of this offense "shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."
‘Way beyond the pale’: Legal experts call for Trump to be prosecuted after latest bombshell NY Times report
A Friday afternoon New York Times bombshell report stating that former president Donald Trump demanded Justice Department officials simply claim the 2020 presidential election was 'corrupt" and then 'leave the rest to him" has critics of Trump calling for his arrest.
The report from the Times' Katie Benner is based upon contemporaneous notes from Richard P. Donoghue taken during a phone call on Dec. 27 as Trump pushed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to intercede on his behalf in a futile effort to stay in power.
Quoting Trump, Donoghue reportedly wrote, "Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me."
Reacting to the report, commenters on Twitter -- including some Constitutional law experts -- called the president's comments a smoking gun that should lead to his prosecution. You can see some of their comments below:
Today’s blockbuster report adds to the evidence that Donald Trump pressured the Department of Justice to help him o… https://t.co/iZRNsW8xeR— Noah Bookbinder (@Noah Bookbinder) 1627659097.0
"'Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me' & to congressional allies, [Deputy Acting AG Richard] D… https://t.co/lacRV92hQC— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe) 1627659490.0
Trump pushed the DOJ to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me." He tried to usurp our d… https://t.co/sytXrIvK98— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti) 1627660656.0
This is what GOP leadership is still endorsing: Trump pressed top DOJ officials to declare the election was “corrup… https://t.co/Vq1SAQ85mQ— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene) 1627659683.0
ROTTEN TO THE CORE: “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and congressional allies, DOJ o… https://t.co/J2YwXVlVz8— Christine Pelosi (@Christine Pelosi) 1627661067.0
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