National Security

They ‘Despise’ ‘Traditional America’: Lawyer For Capitol Riot Defendant Says DC Residents Can’t Be Fair Jurors

(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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A defense attorney representing a man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot claimed that his client can not receive a fair trial in Washington, D.C. because the city’s residents oppose his values.

Attorney David Fischer argued in a Thursday motion to have his client Thomas Caldwell tried in Harrisonburg, Virginia, instead, claiming that D.C. residents “despise many things that traditional America stands for,” and hold “obvious… antipathy towards Trump and his supporters.”

Caldwell is charged with five counts related to the Capitol riot, including obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

The motion notes that 5% of D.C. residents voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020, and claims that there were “anti-Trump protesters destroying businesses, cars, and other property, and attacking Trump supporters” when he was inaugurated in 2017. Fischer claims that constant “anti-Trump protest[s] outside the White House, Congress, the Trump Hotel, at local universities, and other District locales” further indicate the city’s bias against his client. (RELATED: 214 Leftist Protesters Indicted For Rioting On Inauguration Day)

D.C. residents do not only oppose Trump, according to Fischer. They “are repulsed by rural America’s traditional values, patriotism, religion, gun ownership, and perceived lack of education,” due to the fact that they “largely style themselves as chic, sophisticated, worldly, high-brow urbanites.”

Likewise, “rural America is repulsed by what it perceives as East and West Coast progressive snobbery, addiction to government funding, lack of moral values, and petulant intolerance for those with different viewpoint,” according to Fischer.

Fischer’s motion also alleges a series of “ludicrous conspiracy theor[ies]” held by D.C. people with “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

“For nearly two years, District residents overwhelmingly bought into the ludicrous conspiracy theory that Donald Trump colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to rig the 2016 election. District suicide hotlines literally crashed when the Mueller Report dropped, disproving crazy claims of Trump’s secret Russian bank account, Putin’s alleged video blackmail of Trump with Russian prostitutes, Trump’s Russian back-channel through Deutsche Bank, and other objectively dubious claims.”

In contrast, Fischer claims that the federal district covering Caldwell’s home town of Harrisonburg, Virginia, is “culturally and ethnically diverse, as it stretches from northern Virginia down the Shenandoah Valley and includes James Madison University.”

Caldwell’s indictment alleges that he coordinated with members of the Oath Keepers militia and traveled to Washington, D.C. “while wearing clothes with the Oath Keepers insignia.” (RELATED: 9 Oath Keepers Indicted After Using Military Tactics During Capitol Riot)

However, Fischer’s motion claims that “misleading, inaccurate, and false statements… that Caldwell was a ‘member’ of the Oath Keepers, that he held a ‘leadership role’ (‘the Commander’) in the Oath Keepers, that he stormed inside the Capitol building, and that he was involved in a weeks-long plan to specifically invade the Capitol” are prejudicial to a potential jury.

Those claims in the indictment will be adjudicated at Caldwell’s trial.