Following President’s Orders Defense Rejected in Capitol Riot Trial

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Firm News

A federal jury recently rejected an Ohio man’s novel defense, that he was simply following “Presidential orders” when he he entered that U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. A federal jury in the District of Columbia found Dustin Thompson guilty of Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, and Theft of Government Property. At trial, Mr. Thompson took the witness stand and testified that he was simply following President Trump’s orders, when he went inside the Capitol Building and stole government property. This defense is not new and was used repeatedly by Nazis who were charged with war crimes after World War II. It didn’t work back then, and it didn’t work in Mr. Thompson’s case. From a legal standpoint, it is a very difficult defense to make since it requires evidence that the accused had no intent to commit the offense, but was simply following orders from a superior. Mr. Thompson will be sentenced later this year.