On Thursday, CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, the key source covering January 6 litigation, reported that some perpetrators of the insurrection are now afraid of "looking weak to Trump" as the proceedings advance.
"In quick succession today, we saw a series of new plea agreement hearings scheduled in January 6th cases," MacFarlane said in his latest video dispatch. "That includes in the case of the defendant accused of having the lacrosse stick with the Confederate flag attached to it. And it raised this question: have the prosecutors or has the Justice Department amassed new leverage in January 6th cases because of how the first two trials went? Two trials, both of which ended in conviction."
"We brought that question to one of the defense attorneys familiar with the January 6th cases, handling some of the January 6th cases," continued MacFarlane. "And he told us, not yet. Not for all defendants. They don't see new leverage because of those convictions, because the first trial, he says, was a defendant whose own son testified against him, and the defense mustered zero witnesses and zero case presentation. In the second trial, the defendant was convicted on just one of two charges, and the conviction was to a misdemeanor. Entering restricted grounds. That's the plea deal being offered anyhow to some January 6th defendants."
"But the defense attorney said something else that was quite striking," MacFarlane added. "That for at least some January 6th defendants, they view risk in pleading guilty, because there still is this mentality, he says, among some defendants, that Donald Trump could and will resume office after the 2024 elections, be back in the presidency, and that by pleading guilty, they show weakness to Trump, and that those who show weakness to Trump are less likely to get pardons."