Oath Keepers conspiracy trial jury seated

Oath Keepers conspiracy trial jury seated

Washington, D.C. twelve Out of a huge pool of potential jurors, locals have been chosen to participate in the biggest trial yet in the Justice Department’s extensive inquiry into the assault on the United States on January 6, 2021. Capitol.

During the joint session of Congress intended to certify the results of the 2020 election, the five defendants on trial—members of the Oath Keepers organization—were accused of violently preventing the peaceful transition of power from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden.

The high-profile trial will be a test for the Justice Department after the department charged Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and his associates with seditious conspiracy, the most serious charge yet brought as a result of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The high-profile trial is scheduled to resume Monday with opening arguments.

Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson, who live in Rhode Island and Florida, Jessica Watkins, who resides in Ohio, and Thomas Caldwell, who resides in Virginia, are all charged with organizing the attack with other Oath Keepers in the months prior to Jan. 6.

This allegedly included gathering weapons in a hotel room in the Washington, D.C., area and coordinating movements both inside and outside the Capitol during the riot. The five defendants each entered a not guilty plea to each of the charges against them.

The federal court in Washington, D.C., which was tasked with selecting the newly constituted group of twelve jurors plus four alternates to sit as fair arbiters on the politically charged trial, which is scheduled to last more than a month, was also under pressure as the trial got underway with jury selection.

Judge Amit Mehta and the lawyers questioned the citizens who had been chosen at random to serve as possible jurors over the course of three days.

They were also asked whether they were acquainted with the Oath Keepers organization, which is regarded as a loosely organized collection of right-wing, anti-government radicals. Most believed the Jan. 6 incident was either worrisome or disappointing. The clients were also questioned by attorneys about their opinions on Trump and his followers.

Jurors were not necessary to be impartial toward the assault or to be unfamiliar with the militia organization in order to be considered eligible. The court instead challenged them on their ability to set aside any preconceived preconceptions and retain objectivity toward the facts presented at trial, a task several said was too challenging given their opinions of either Trump, Jan. 6, or the defendants themselves.

Additionally, in some cases, defense counsel questioned the residents about their use of social media and showed the court excerpts from the person’s postings that were discovered online while being questioned.

The prospective jurors who were interrogated had a variety of occupations inside and related to the government, from a USAID employee to an attorney who worked at the Department of Labor. Many people had ties to the Capitol via friends, neighbors, or in one instance, a college internship.

While everyone in the group agreed that the events on January 6 were “extremely upsetting,” several said they hadn’t watched much news that day and weren’t interested in the coverage that followed. One jury who was subsequently excused said that news was “boring and for elderly folks.”

The last 12 jurors were chosen from among the respondents who had participated in protests for women’s rights in the capital, worked for the TSA or the State Department, or had family who were law enforcement officers.

Others have a parent who served as a prosecutor in a different state, while others are parents of young children.

Despite the diversity, each of those chosen had assured Mehta that they thought they could be impartial in assessing the testimony during the trial, which is scheduled to start in earnest on Monday.

The opening statements by the prosecution will last for more than one hour, after which each defense team will get a chance to respond.

The group’s planning, communication, and coordination were crucial elements of the mayhem that day and were intended to obstruct both Congress’ legitimate function and the peaceful transfer of power, according to the government’s allegations, which it will have to substantiate in front of this jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defense lawyers have suggested they would contend that the Oath Keepers were there on January 6 in order to defend demonstrators and people speaking at Trump support rallies, not to riot or oppose Mr. Biden’s administration.

Other attorneys have requested permission from the court to use the Insurrection Act as a defense, claiming their clients were anticipating a call to action from the previous president that never materialized.

Mehta assured the freshly chosen jury that they had not anticipated that they would be involved in such a trial when he dismissed them for the day on Thursday. Whatever the jury’s decision, Mehta and the courtroom will recommence the proceedings as four more suspected Oath Keepers accused with seditious conspiracy are scheduled to go on trial.

»Oath Keepers conspiracy trial jury seated«

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