On Monday, Law & Crime reported that the Capitol rioter who used a taser on Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone during the January 6 attack is claiming to the court that he was acting under the "authorization" of former President Donald Trump.
"Daniel Rodriguez is one of several defendants accused in the attack on Fanone," reported Aaron Keller. "Rodriguez provided notice that he 'may' assert a defense of 'public authority.' That notice is a precursor to a possible argument at trial that he was acting 'on behalf of' a 'law enforcement agency or federal intelligence agency' when he stormed the Capitol and admittedly attacked Fanone. Thus, the documents tee up a possible defense but do not directly employ it."
Rodriguez's attorneys specifically cited "the Executive Branch" and "Former President Donald Trump" as the law enforcement agencies who authorized him under the federal rules of procedure.
Fanone was a key witness who spoke at congressional hearings on the dangers faced by Capitol Police officers on January 6.
Many Capitol riot defendants have argued they were swayed to act under Trump's orders or under the influence of right-wing talk radio, but the claim that Rodriguez was formally acting under the authorization of a Trump in his capacity as federal law enforcement is a more unusual argument.
Rodriguez, who also said the conspiracy website InfoWars influenced his decision to go to D.C., previously tried to argue that he tased Fanone because he saw him surrounded by a mob and made a mistake while trying to protect the officer.
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