Assailants Invoking Donald Trump in Criminal Defenses, Study Shows

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Assailants Invoking Donald Trump in Criminal Defenses, Study Shows

Defendants in no less than 36 felony circumstances involving violence, threats of violence or assault have invoked President Donald Trump in reference to their purported crimes, according to analysis by ABC News.

“The 36 cases identified by ABC News are remarkable in that a link to the president is captured in court documents and police statements, under the penalty of perjury or contempt,” in line with the report.

Former presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush didn’t seem within the networks widespread search of federal and state felony circumstances.

Assailants Invoking Donald Trump in Criminal Defenses, Study Shows
US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House earlier than departing in Washington, DC on August 9, 2019. NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty

In 10 circumstances, Trump’s rhetoric was cited to elucidate a defendant’s violent or menacing actions. In 10 extra circumstances, defendants celebrated President Trump whereas harassing others. Nine further circumstances documented assailants praising the president throughout or instantly after a bodily violent assault.

Just a few circumstances did embrace situations of violence or threats the place Trump was invoked with the intention to goal his supporters in Congress.

In 2018, legal professionals for a Kansas man convicted in a plot to bomb a mosque attended by Somali refugees argued that Donald Trump’s rhetoric main as much as and in the course of the 2016 presidential election must be considered throughout his sentencing.

Though Patrick Eugene Stein confronted life in jail, his attorneys pleaded with the choose to impose a sentence of not more than 15 years, partially as a result of he was an “early and avid supporter” of Trump. They additional alleged the president’s language in the course of the marketing campaign was a “backdrop” to Stein’s case.

He was finally given a 30-year jail sentence.

Lawyers for Cesar Sayoc, who pleaded responsible to mailing pipe bombs to varied public figures, instructed the choose that Sayoc had “found light in Donald J. Trump.”

Assailants Invoking Donald Trump in Criminal Defenses, Study Shows
Mugshots of Cesar Sayoc are mirrored on a portrait of US President Donald Trump previous to a press convention on the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on October 26, 2018, following the arrest of Sayoc in Florida. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty

“His infatuation with the President began as something personal, not political,” they wrote in filings. “Mr. Sayoc was an ardent Trump fan and, when Trump announced he was running for President, Mr. Sayoc enthusiastically supported him. He began watching Fox News religiously at the gym, planning his morning workout to coincide with Fox and Friends and his evenings to dovetail with Hannity.”

Trump’s frequent use of xenophobic and racist denunciations has drawn scrutiny in latest weeks, after an alleged white supremacist murdered 22 individuals in a mass capturing in Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A manifesto related to the suspect, Patrick Wood Crusius, is crammed with a lot of the identical anti-immigrant rhetoric that Trump has used or endorsed since he launched his first presidential bid.

ABC News’ evaluation solely included direct, avowed connections to the president and his phrases—extra elusive ties to violent and hate-inspired assaults had been excluded.

In 2015, coinciding with the beginning of the earlier presidential election, the variety of hate crimes reported to the FBI started its first notable enhance in a decade, in line with FBI hate crimes statistics.

The variety of reported hate crimes in 2016 and 2017 represents the biggest year-over-year enhance in almost twenty years, because the September 11 terrorist assaults.

“We see a correlation around the time of statements of political leaders and fluctuations in hate crimes,” Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, instructed the Associated Press. “Could there be other intervening causes? Yes. But it’s certainly a significant correlation that can’t be ignored.”

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