Jan. 6 Ruling Could Indicate Major Shift
U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden has acquitted a man who admitted to breaching the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
Matthew Martin, a federal defense contractor who held a top-security clearance, is now the first Jan. 6 defendant to be acquitted. His case, and verdict, could potentially used as an example in the trials of other Jan. 6 participants.
The judge handed down a not guilty verdict after a two-day bench trial.
McFadden said Martin’s actions were “minimal and not serious,” finding that he “reasonably believed” police had allowed him to enter the building.
“I saw no violence,” Martin said during the trial, adding that he had “positive” personal experiences aside from the charges. If he had to do it again, he said he’d stay away from the Capitol on Jan. 6 but maintained that he “enjoyed everything else.”
“It’s hard for me to say I regret coming to Washington, D.C.”