Trump judge issues first acquittal of all charges for Jan. 6 defendant

A Trump-appointed judge decided on Wednesday that a January 6th participant is not guilty of four federal misdemeanors related to trespassing in the Capitol — the first time an insurrection defendant was acquitted of all charges.

D.C. District Judge Trevor McFadden found that Matthew Martin, a former government contractor from New Mexico, plausibly believed the police had let him into the Capitol building.

“If the cops weren’t letting people in, I would not have gone in,” Martin said during his testimony on Wednesday. Martin described the activity outside of the Capitol on January 6 as a “big block party.”

“It was a magical day in many ways,” Martin said.

Prosecutors argued that Martin knew he was entering the building illegally given the broken windows, tear gas, and emergency alarms going off. They also noted that Martin and his attorneys attended a previous Jan. 6th trial held by McFadden to study how to craft a defense that would fit the judge’s point of view.

McFadden called Martin’s conduct “about as minimal and not serious as I can imagine” among Jan. 6 defendants…“He seemed quite quiet and orderly,” McFadden said. “He did not shout. He did not raise his flag.”

McFadden has a history of disagreeing with the government’s handling of insurrectionists’ cases, often sentencing them to probation instead of jail time.