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Donald Trump insurrection: Ex-POTUS' impeachment lawyer to represent Capitol rioter
A mob made up of right-wing militia groups, and supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last January 6 to derail the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s victory. With hundreds of rioters awaiting trial, one of the defendants is being represented by the former president’s impeachment lawyer.
Michael van der Veen, one of the lawyers representing Trump during his second impeachment trial at the Senate, filed a motion this week at the DC Federal Court to represent one of the alleged rioters, Jason Dolan. Dolan, who is from Florida, answered a call by far-right militia group Oath Keepers and is one of its 16 associates and members charged with conspiracy to block Biden’s victory certification by Congress.
Prosecutors have said that Dolan, along with another one of the defendants, joined in the attack up to the top of the steps at the Capitol to break inside the building. Over 100 Capitol Police officers were left injured, and five people were killed as a result of the insurrection. Over 400 of the rioters have been arrested and charged by the authorities, some awaiting trial and extended detention as part of concerns raised by judges.
So far, prosecutors have narrowed down the Oath Keepers and another right-wing militia group Proud Boys, as they look into the extent of the planning that went into the attack. It should also be noted that hours before the siege, Trump and his allies held a rally in DC to protest against the election results.
In other news, a report released by the Interior Department watchdog claimed that the police aggressively cleared Black Lives Matter protesters during the summer of 2020 in order to secure the area for contractors to allow security fencing. The report denied that it was to clear the way for Trump to stand outside a church in DC to take a photo holding up a bible.
However, the report also criticized the US Park Police for not giving dispersal warnings to the demonstrators engaging in a peaceful protest following the death of George Floyd. The police at the time used rubber bullets and tear gas to clear the way rather than giving warnings.