This is not looking good.
In a shocking turn of events, it looks like former President Donald Trump’s legal woes have gone from bad to worse after a federal judge claimed that Trump’s comments on January 6th, 2021, when he told people to “fight like hell” before the riot took place signaled that he wanted them “to do something more” than just protest.
According to NBC, U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that Jan. 6 defendant Alexander Sheppard was not allowed to raise the “public authority” defense after his lawyers argued that Trump instructed him on how to act.
The judge insisted that “President Trump neither stated nor implied that entering the restricted area of the Capitol grounds and the Capitol building or impeding the certification of the electoral vote was lawful.”
Bates wrote, “These words only encourage those at the rally to march to the Capitol — nothing more — and do not address legality at all. But, although his express words only mention walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, one might conclude that the context implies that he was urging protestors to do something more — perhaps to enter the Capitol building and stop the certification.“
Judge Bates later noted that he believes Trump acted “corruptly” and added that phrases Trump used such as “fight like hell” may have indicated to rioters that they were given the green light to act how they did.
“His speech simply suggests that it would be an act of ‘boldness’ to ‘stop the steal,'” Bates added.