Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Bredhoff & Kaiser defends inauguration protesters in mass criminal prosecution

Summer 2018

As reported in major media outlets, such as Buzzfeed, Rolling Stone, and The Huffington Post, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia obtained mass criminal felony indictments against demonstrators who gathered to protest the January 20, 2017 inauguration of Donald J. Trump.

Although there were discrete instances of violent or destructive conduct, the overwhelming majority of the protesters were peaceful and non-violent throughout the demonstration. The indictment alleges the novel theory that these non-violent demonstrators are criminally liable merely for being present when acts of violence or property destruction were committed by others. The government’s theory subjects each defendant to more than 70 years in federal prison and has significant implications for future demonstrations under the First Amendment. The Firm expects the matter to proceed to a jury trial in the Summer of 2018.