WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The harrowing video released during the impeachment trial this week has shed new light on the danger lawmakers and police faced during the January 6th U.S. Capitol riot.
At least eight Marylanders are now facing charges.READ MORE: Iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile To Make Appearances On Eastern Shore
Matthew Miller is among them. Federal prosecutors said the 22-year-old from Howard County sprayed a fire extinguisher on the steps of the Capitol and scaled the walls while draped in a Maryland Flag.
Prosecutors called the fire extinguisher a “deadly or dangerous weapon.”
Miller’s lawyer said the former Glenelg High and Howard County Community College student was “young, impressionable” and “caught up in the moment.”
“His conduct that gave rise to the charges, in this case, is an extreme aberration and began innocently enough when he sought to protest the results of the 2020 Presidential election. He did not set out to disrupt or otherwise interfere with Congress. He concedes that he participated in the protest at the Capitol but left soon after he saw that other protesters were engaging in violent and dangerous behavior and were seeking to enter the Capitol itself,” Miller’s defense attorney Eduardo Balarezo wrote in a court motion.
Balarezo claimed Miller was “merely following the directions of then-President Trump, the country’s chief law enforcement officer.”
Balarezo elaborated in an interview with CNN.
“You have to understand what the situation was. Matthew was at the rally to protest, to assert his First Amendment rights. He had no motive—no other reason to go and storm the Capitol. The only reason any of those people went to the Capitol to storm it and to do whatever they did there was because Trump demanded it. Trump asked for it, and Trump wanted it. You can’t get away from that,” Balarezo told the network.READ MORE: BWI To Extend Rent Relief For Food, Retail Stores Inside Airport
“…We brought up the Trump incitement to this rebellion because it was relevant to whether or not my client can get out. Now, as to why my client went there, obviously, he was there with the crowds. We can’t get away from that. He was there to protest what he thought was a stolen election at the request of the President of the United States. And when Trump said stop, they stopped and they all went home.”
Others are also blaming the former president.
Emanuel Jackson from Prince George’s County is accused of beating officers with a baseball bat at the Capitol.
That day, he said he was not instigated by Mr. Trump in a video posted on Twitter.
His lawyer, however, invoked Trump in a court filing.
“The nature and circumstances of this offense must be viewed through the lens of an event inspired by the President of the United States,” defense attorney Brandi Harden wrote.CVS Announces 570K Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Across 17 States, Including Maryland