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US Capitol rioter who said he believed he was following Trump’s orders found guilty

Dustin Thompson, a 38-year-old exterminator from Ohio, faced six charges — obstructing an official proceeding, theft of government property, illegally entering the Capitol, illegally protesting in the Capitol, and two counts of disorderly conduct in the Capitol.

After the verdict, federal Judge Reggie Walton blasted former President Donald Trump’s conduct related to January 6 and sent Thompson to jail immediately while he awaits sentencing.

“The insurgency, and it was in effect that, is very troubling,” Walton said. “I think our democracy is in trouble because unfortunately we have charlatans, like the former President, in my view, who don’t care about democracy and only care about power.”

The trial marked the first time a Capitol riot defendant tried to convince a jury that Trump was responsible for the violence on January 6, 2021. Thompson’s lawyer told the jury Trump was an “evil and sinister man” who had incited the riot with his incendiary speech at the Ellipse, where he told his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”

Thompson had testified that he believed he was acting at the behest of Trump.

“Besides being ordered by the President to go to the Capitol, I don’t know what I was thinking,” Thompson told the jury Wednesday. “I was caught up in the moment.”

The jury deliberated for less than three hours on Thursday.

The most severe charge that Thompson was convicted of — obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony — carries up to 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced in July.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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