The Department of Justice has dropped charges against eight more defendants for their alleged roles in protests during President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti: ‘I think that Michael Cohen is in a very, very bad spot’ MSNBC reporter: Detained immigrant children ‘effectively incarcerated’ in Texas facility GOP chairwoman: Anyone who doesn’t support Trump ‘will be making a mistake’ MORE ‘s inauguration, according to HuffPost.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia initially charged 200 people with felonies for their roles in the Inauguration Day protests from 2017. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to riot, and prosecutors had hoped to find them responsible for the $100,000 in damages to local businesses.
But prosecutors have yet to secure any convictions. Before this week’s development, more than 100 people had already had their initial charges dropped.
On May 31, charges were dropped for 10 people after it was found that the prosecution had withheld evidence. And in early June, another protester accused of conspiring to riot was acquitted of charges.
Elizabeth Lagesse, one of the defendants who had her charges dropped on Wednesday, told HuffPost that this development lifts a “huge weight” off her shoulders. Lagesse is also reportedly part of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) directed at the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
The suit takes aim at the tactics utilized by the police in response to the demonstrations. Lagesse told the news outlet that her involvement in the suit may have been why her charges weren’t dropped until now.
“I think it’s because they didn’t want to drop someone who was part of the ACLU’s civil suit, and I think it’s because they didn’t want to drop someone who had sort of been a stick in their eye,” she said.