Lead Prosecutor in Trump Inauguration Protest Trial Sanctioned for Due Process Violations Has Been Made Head of Her Department
DC jurors weren’t particularly impressed with Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff’s claims that attending a protest makes one part of a conspiracy, as they failed to convict any of the nearly 200 people arrested during an anti-Trump protest. And Chief Judge Robert Morin, was similarly unimpressed by Kerkhoff’s decision to withhold evidence from the defense and mislead the court about it, which is why he sanctioned the prosecution. Yet, someone at the US Attorney’s Office must have been impressed, as since her ignominious defeat Kerkhoff has been promoted.
The US Attorney’s Office (USAO) have announced they are moving to dismiss without prejudice all charges against the remaining 38 protesters arrested during Donald Trump’s Inauguration.
The second trial of Trump Inauguration protesters arrested during an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march has ended without a single conviction.
A jury acquitted Seth Cadman of conspiracy to riot, inciting a riot, and several counts of property destruction. The jury deadlocked on the misdemeanor charge of engaging in a riot, causing Judge Knowles to declare a mistrial on that one charge
Today, was yet another day of setbacks for the prosecution,as the government dismissed charges against three more J20 defendants. In another J20 trial, a jury acquitted defendant Cathseigh Webber of all charges after less than two days of deliberations.
While prosecutors were going ahead with closing arguments in one set of J20 trials, one floor above in the same courthouse a judge was issuing sanctions against the government for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. In a huge blow to prosecutors, conspiracy charges will be dismissed with prejudice against ten defendants and seven defendants had all of their remaining charges dismissed without prejudice.
The prosecution in the J20 case was dealt another major setback today as Chief Justice Robert Morin found that they failed to disclose to the defense parts of an undercover video containing clearly exculpatory evidence. An edited version of the video was part of the prosecution’s case-in-chief during the first J20 trial and was expected to be so in an upcoming trial. Now, with the prosecution facing sanctions, there are questions as to whether they will be allowed to show the video at all.
The US Attorneys Office claims the trial isn’t about protest or dissent, but the crux of their case centers around the argument that a First Amendment protected march is a criminal conspiracy.
If the prosecution can’t in “good conscience, ask another fourteen citizens” to sit through a trial of protesters, there’s a solution. Drop the charges.