“This is an example of what a bad cop does,” explained defense attorney James Monroe to a jury in DC District Court last week.
Monroe defended J6er Thomas Webster, a Marine Corps veteran who retired after 20 years of service with the New York Police Department. Webster was accused of assaulting DC Metropolitan police officer Noah Rathbun. American Gulag had an observer inside the courtroom.
Webster testified Officer Rathbun provoked him to a fight, initiating gestures which conveyed he was going to punch him. Rathbun gave no verbal warning or order for Webster to the leave the front of the police line. Webster attempted to tell Rathbun the crowd was pushing him forward and he wasn’t able to leave.
Rathbun testified he was not injured and said he did not recall being hit by Webster. He also did not remember the outcome of their interaction because he was overwhelmed by the events of that day. Webster attempted to explain several times how he was acting in self-defense. However, the prosecution objected.
Before the incident, Webster recalled moving to the front of the police line as he was trained to do. He aided a lone female police officer who was separated from her group and inadvertently lost in the crowd. Webster shielded her and brought her back to the designated police area, instructing her stay there.
Repeatedly, prosecutors used the words “angry” and “enraged” to describe Webster’s actions. Prosecutors highlighted Webster’s cell phone browsing history, which indicated he searched “Stop the Steal rally” on DuckDuckGo. They then suggested to the jury he was supposedly mad about the election results.
In each J6 trial to this date, prosecutors initially asked each defendant whether they support President Trump. The responses were then highlighted again in the closing arguments.
When Webster’s verdict was read, he did not appear to have friends or family in the courtroom that particular day. The jury deliberation lasted over the weekend. Judge Amit Mehta received three letters from individuals expressing their support for Webster.
After the jury announced Webster was found guilty on all 6 counts, prosecutors demanded Webster be detained immediately. However, the judge objected, reasoning Webster should be released before sentencing due to the fact he served honorably as a police officer.
Webster acted politely and respectfully throughout the trial. He appeared shocked when the verdict was read. His emotions were heavy afterwards as he spoke to his wife on his cell phone.
Webster’s sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 2 at 2pm in DC District Court.
Here is what his lawyer James Monroe shared with the media after the trial:
You can read his remarks below:
Monroe: “This is a difficult day for Thomas Webster’s family. We have to give some thoughtful consideration to the result we achieved today and decide where to go from here.”
“We’re going to keep all of our options open. Right now, we’ll think about this result.”
Interviewer: “How do you feel about how the detention request was handled?”
Monroe: “I have to complement the court for how they dealt with Mr. Webster fairly during the trial and he continues to do so today.”
Interviewer: “Were you surprised?”
Monroe: “It’s very disappointing. We recognized from the beginning the folks here in DC were quite traumatized by what transpired on Jan.6. and I think you saw evidence expressed to that.”
“We had a video that depicted exactly what transpired here including an officers’[inaudible] something for the jury to [inaudible.]
“Like I said, we worked hard to challenge the government’s theory in the case and did so successfully, but I think the overwhelming thoughts the jury had about what transpired on Jan. 6 was more than enough to…”
Monroe: “We’ll keep an open mind.”
Interviewer: “How long is the-is it a 20-year maximum?
Monroe: “It is.”
Interviewer: “At least, do you have any idea what the guidelines might signal?”
Interviewer 2: “So what’s…”
Monroe: “We have to give some thought about today, the result that we achieved, and plan a strategy going forward from here, right? And we’re thinking about it, right? That’s the good part. Thanks for speaking with us.”