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Trump Lawyer Acknowledges Jan. 6 Riot As “Shameful, Criminal, Violent”

Former President Donald Trump’s attorney, Jonathan Mitchell, acknowledged Thursday morning that the events of January 6, 2021, constituted a “shameful, criminal” riot during arguments before the United States Supreme Court.

The discussion revolved around Colorado’s decision last year to bar Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot due to his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot.

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling

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Last year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s alleged role in the January 6 riot violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, leading to his exclusion from the state’s Republican primary ballot.

Mitchell’s Challenge

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This decision prompted legal proceedings, with Mitchell challenging Colorado’s authority to remove Trump from the ballot.

Supreme Court Hearing

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During Thursday’s Supreme Court hearing, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson questioned Mitchell about whether the events of January 6 could be classified as an insurrection.

Shameful, Criminal, But Not an Insurrection

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Mitchell responded by saying “This was a riot. It was not an insurrection.

The events were shameful, criminal, violent, all of those things but did not qualify as an insurrection as that term is used in Section 3.”

Trump’s Federal Trial

Credit: Donald J. Trump at CPAC Covention Protecting America Now in Maryland. March 04, 2023, Maryland, USA: The former President of USA, Donald J. Trump at the CPAC convention Protecting America Now — Photo by thenews2.com

Aside from the Colorado ballot issue, Trump is also facing a separate federal trial regarding his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Not Guilty Pleas

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Despite Trump’s insistence that the election was stolen, he has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to these allegations.

Trump’s Previous Remarks

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Mitchell’s characterization of the riot contrasts with Trump’s own previous statements about January 6.

While Mitchell labeled it as “shameful” and “criminal,” Trump has previously referred to the day as “beautiful” and praised the actions of his supporters.

Mitchell’s Arguments Before the Court

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During his argument before the Supreme Court justices, Mitchell focused on legal technicalities surrounding Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

He debated whether the section is self-executing or requires congressional action and discussed its applicability to the presidency.

Clarification Requested by Justice Jackson

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Justice Jackson pressed Mitchell to clarify whether he considered January 6 to be an insurrection.

Mitchell reiterated his stance that Trump did not engage in any actions that could be classified as insurrection, emphasizing the criteria required for such a classification.

Trump’s Response to the Riot

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Trump’s characterization of the events of January 6 has varied over time.

While he has minimized the severity of the riot in some instances, referring to participants as “peaceful” and “great people,” Mitchell’s remarks before the Supreme Court presented a more critical assessment of the events.

Conclusion of Arguments

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Jonathan Mitchell’s acknowledgment of the January 6 riot as “shameful” and “criminal” marked a departure from Trump’s previous statements about the incident.

As the legal proceedings continue, the Supreme Court’s decision on Colorado’s authority to exclude Trump from the state’s primary ballot remains pending.

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