Jan. 6 defendant blames Trump brainwashing for stealing booze and a coat rack from US Capitol

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One of the three Jan. 6th defendants who’ve chosen to take their case to trial is hoping to convince the jury that the blame for his actions lies with the internet and former President Donald Trump.

But critics say Dustin Thompson, 38, is full of it, and charge that if he’s stupid enough to fall for any ol’ nonsense, then maybe he shouldn’t be on the internet — maybe he should be in jail.

Thompson has specifically been making the case that the reason he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th, 2021, and proceeded to steal both a bottle of liquor and a coat rack was that, one, he’d gone down a “rabbit hole” of lies on the internet, and two, he’d been hoping to earn Trump’s approval.

(Source: Department of Justice)

“Thompson, who worked at a pawn shop and as an exterminator after he graduated from Ohio State University in 2008, testified Wednesday that he became unemployed at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and then ‘went down the rabbit hole on the internet,'” according to NBC News.

“Thompson, 38 — a married, college-educated Ohio resident — told jurors he didn’t have any strong male role models in his life and was hoping to gain the ‘respect’ and ‘approval’ of former President Donald Trump when he entered the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot,”the outlet noted.

He said in court that he’d found both the nonsense online and the former president’s “Stop the Steal” rhetoric intriguing and that they’d led him to believe that it wasn’t possible for President Joe Biden to have won the 2020 presidential election.

And then when he attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and heard the president speaking in person, everything allegedly fit into place and he felt compelled to take action.

“The way he was saying it was believable to me. I mean, I believed him. … If the president is giving you almost an order to do something, I felt obligated to do that,” Thompson testified Wednesday in court.

To be clear, the former president never once ordered anyone to storm the U.S. Capitol. He merely spoke about the rallygoers marching to the Capitol “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today.”

“I was just thinking that somehow I was making a difference. Mob mentality and groupthink is very real and very dangerous,” Thompson reportedly added in court Wednesday.

His wife, a Biden-voting Democrat, also testified about his behavior, claiming that he’d “spent a lot of time on the Internet” and had been “very angry about the election results.”

“He believed that the election had been stolen,” she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Kennelly Dreher was reportedly for his part entirely unimpressed by the couple’s deflection game.

“Dreher asked Thompson on cross examination whether he was 36 years old when he stormed the Capitol, whether he had a college degree and whether he got dressed ‘all by yourself’ on Jan. 6.,” according to NBC News.

“You’re not a child, right?”  he reportedly asked.

Thompson admitted that no, he’s not.

Some members of the public were also unimpressed with his defense:

The going consensus appears to be that Thompson should just man up and take responsibility for his poor decision-making instead of blaming everybody else but himself.

The irony is that in avoiding blame, he’s emulating the current administration far more than he’s emulating the Trump administration …


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Vivek Saxena


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