HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — This past week marked one year since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds of people have been charged because of it. Some want a Harrisburg defense attorney to represent them. However, he is declining to take most of the cases.
According to the Department of Justice, 62 people with ties to Pennslyvania were arrested. 16 are from the Midstate.
“We have a democracy. And that day, that was not just an assault on a building. It was an assault on our democracy,” said Corky Goldstein, senior criminal defense attorney with Mooney Law.
Goldstein has turned down 13 requests from people across Pennsylvania wanting him to be their attorney, something he has the right to do.
“They really were intent on violence. They had weapons, or they were pushing people, they hit people, they did damage to property, those kinds of things,” Goldstein said. “I had no comfort level because I don’t believe in that to take those cases.”
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There is one case from Central Pa. that he probably will take where he says a man was caught in the middle of the mob and only trying to help.
“He was a guy who didn’t have a Trump shirt on, a MAGA hat on. He didn’t have any weapons. He went down there to have fun, he thought it would be fun. He never saw a president before.”
For many defendants, there’s clear video evidence of them committing crimes. As for those who many believe incited the riot will be hard for prosecutors to prove.
“None of this is political. It’s from a legal sense, ” Goldstein said. “Whether they meet that burden of imminent and specific language to go in there and do harm and that’s the problem they’re going to have.”
The constitution enshrines freedom of speech and freedom to peacefully protest. That is why Goldstein says every case has to be looked at very carefully and individually, with the government having to prove each one beyond a reasonable doubt.
“You have the right to yell what you want. You can be down there, you can do that. You cannot do violence against individuals or threaten to kill somebody,” Goldstein said.