A defendant in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has filed a court brief calling for Donald Trump to be subpoenaed to testify because the accused claims the former president “directed” him and others to storm the Capitol as part of a deceptive plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“It will be established at trial that Mr. Trump and his conspirators engaged in a concerted effort to deceive the public, including Defendant, into believing that American democracy was at stake if Congress was permitted to certify the election,” according to the court filing Friday on behalf of Ohio resident Dustin Thompson.
“Defendant submits that the testimony of Mr. Trump and his conspirators will establish that they were determined, by any means necessary, to prevent Congress from fulfilling its constitutional mandate to certify the election results,” states the filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“In order to accomplish that goal, the conspirators Defendant now seeks to subpoena engaged in a concerted effort to organize, encourage, and direct rally participants to storm the Capitol, enter the grounds, ‘fight like hell,’ and ’engage in trial by combat,” the brief added.
It was all part of a “carefully crafted plot” to call into question the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, according to the filing.
Thompson will also seek to subpoena other “conspirators,” including Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, onetime White House strategist Steve Bannon, “coup memo” right-wing lawyer John Eastman and Donald Trump Jr.
Thompson has been charged with a number of offenses in the storming of the Capitol, including obstruction of an official proceeding, theft of government property, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in the Capitol.
In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch shortly after initial charges were filed against Thompson, his attorney, Samuel Shamansky, said his client and others who breached the Capitol “got brainwashed to the point they felt duty bound to follow the encouragement of their commander in chief.”
The demand to subpoena Trump faces an uphill battle but is broadening the debate about the former president’s role at the center of the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.
Trump could not be reached for comment.