Washington — A Marine Corps veteran who additionally served on former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s protecting element was discovered responsible of assaulting legislation enforcement exterior the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and different counts.
Within the weeks following the Capitol assault, Thomas Webster turned himself right into a New York FBI area workplace. He was arrested and charged, and a superseding indictment was filed late final 12 months accusing him of a number of counts, together with violence and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A Washington, D.C. jury convicted him on all costs, together with assaulting a police officer, on Monday after just a few hours of deliberation, WUSA’s Jordan Fischer reported.
The federal trial that spanned almost 4 days of argument and testimony hinged on conflicting accounts of an altercation between Webster and Washington, D.C., police officer Noah Rathbun exterior the Capitol constructing on Jan. 6.
Prosecutors mentioned that on the morning of the assault, Webster, wielding a big steel flagpole with a purple U.S. Marine Corps flag connected, made his solution to the entrance of the gang of Trump supporters assembled on the legislation enforcement perimeter meant to guard the lawmakers contained in the Capitol constructing. After crossing onto restricted grounds, the federal government alleged Webster yelled at considered one of officers, “You f***ing piece of shit. You f***ing Commie motherf***ers, man.” He then allegedly used the flagpole in opposition to the officer, swinging over the police line.
The federal government accused Webster of tackling Rathbun to the bottom, pushing in opposition to his gasoline masks, and finally pinning the officer to the group, assaults that have been captured on police bodycam and open-source movies.
“He threw me to the bottom,” Rathbun advised the jury final week, testifying that he was “struggling to breathe.”
“I did not provoke this encounter,” the officer mentioned.
However Webster’s description of the occasion was far completely different — he claimed he was the sufferer of a “rogue” police officer who “punched” him within the face, a declare Rathbun flatly denied.
Webster’s attorneys used a lot of the identical movies prosecutors employed in an try and argue their shopper was performing in self-defense on January 6, alleging “extreme pressure was used in opposition to him” by the officer “previous to any act or allegation” for which Webster is charged.
Officer Rathbun testified that he pushed Webster within the face “unintentionally” and with an open hand after Webster tried to breach the bike racks blocking the Capitol grounds.
Testifying in his personal protection final week, Webster advised the jury he noticed ladies and youngsters injured on Capitol grounds and mentioned he turned annoyed with the therapy of protesters by legislation enforcement.
“I simply noticed folks being injured,” he mentioned, including he determined to not enter the Capitol as a result of he knew that to be a protected space.
Then, on the police line on the Capitol’s West Entrance, Webster alleged that the officer egged him on with hand gestures, a declare Rathbun additionally refuted.
“He begins pushing me,” the defendant mentioned, “He actually wished to combat me.”
It was then that Webster testified the officer struck his head “like a freight practice,” one other declare the officer, prosecutors, and bodycam video disputed. He was below assault, Webster argued, and because the two officers, one present and one former, tussled on the bottom, Webster mentioned he pressed on Rathbun’s gasoline masks to not damage him, however to defend himself.
The jury, nonetheless, took mere hours to conclude in any other case, convicting Webster on all counts together with assaulting Rathbun.
Choose Amit Mehta who oversaw the case, will enable Webster to stay on 24-hour house detention with ankle monitoring till sentencing on Sept. 2. He faces a long time in jail.
Webster is the primary Jan. 6 defendant accused of assaulting officers to go to trial. In keeping with the Justice Division, not less than 250 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or workers and eight have pleaded responsible.
Exterior of court docket on Monday, Webster’s protection lawyer advised reporters he thought his authorized staff had efficiently argued the case and mentioned a possible attraction is “within the playing cards.”