Another Trump Inauguration Protester Acquitted at Trial

Washington, DC – As jury deliberations drag on in the second trial of protesters mass-arrested during President Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, another partial verdict was reached in the morning of June 6. Jurors found defendant Seth Cadman not guilty on all charges, with the exception of the charge “engaging in a riot” on which jurors said they were deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous verdict. The two defendants – Michael Basillas and Anthony Felice – continue to wait for verdicts from the jury.

Trial Judge Kimberley Knowles then declared a mistrial in regard to the charge “engaging in a riot,” meaning that that particular charge against Seth Cadman is essentially dropped, although the US Attorney could, in theory, re-file the charge.

Today’s verdict bodes well for the remaining defendants, as Cadman was allegedly identified as breaking a window during the protest, but jurors don’t appear to have full confidence in the government’s alleged identifications of protesters seen in videos, which the defense had heavily contested at trial.

Earlier this week, on Monday, June 4, jurors announced their first partial verdict, in which inauguration protest defendant Cathseigh Webber was acquitted on all charges. Unlike Cadman, Webber was not even accused of property damage, but merely for being a part of the street march where most people dressed in black and some in the crowd damaged property.

Several other trial groups of defendants mass-arrested on January 20, 2017 (or ‘J20’ for short) have seen their cases dismissed by the US Attorney in the wake of US District Chief Judge Robert Morin’s finding that prosecutors in the J20 case illegally hid evidence provided to them by the far-right “entrapment” media organization Project Veritas.

The future of the J20 case is unclear, but if the current trial ends in no convictions, the US Attorney is expected to drop or reduce charges against remaining defendants with trial dates scattered throughout the rest of 2018.

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