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Some Jan. 6 Defendants Try To Use Journalism As Riot Defense

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FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol in Washington. Some people charged with storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are claiming they were only there to record history as journalists, not join a deadly insurrection. Experts say it's unlikely that they can mount a viable defense on First Amendment free speech grounds, but some appear intent on trying. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Some people charged with storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are claiming they were only there to record history as journalists, not join a deadly insurrection. Experts say it’s unlikely these defendants can mount a viable defense on First Amendment free speech grounds, but some seem intent on trying. The Associated Press reviewed court records in nearly 400 federal cases and found at least eight defendants facing riot-related charges who identify themselves as a journalist or a documentary filmmaker. But federal authorities concluded that the suspects crossed a line between passively observing and actively participating in the attack.

 

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