Phil Andonian recently spoke to The Intercept to discuss the comparison between the arrests from last week's rebellion and those from Donald Trump's inauguration four years ago. Phil was one of the lead defense attorneys in the inauguration protest cases ("the J20 cases," as they came to be known). There, more than 200 protestors faced felony charges carrying a combined potential prison sentence of more than 70 years, and were subjected to an aggressive and novel theory of prosecution built on a completely improper theory of "guilt by mere presence alone." The government ultimately failed to secure any convictions pursuant to that theory.

 

From The Intercept article:

 

"While the J20 protests and the storming of the Capitol were incidents of fundamentally different gravity, 'the response to J20 was a hundredfold more potent that what appears to be happening so far with this,' said Philip Andonian, one of the defense attorneys on the J20 case. “'It really highlights the disparities.'”

 

“I certainly don’t want to see more people prosecuted more easily with over-expansive theories of guilt,” said Andonian, pointing to the mass conspiracy prosecution of the J20 defendants as an example. “Because it will be turned around tomorrow on [Black Lives Matter], it will be turned around tomorrow on gangs made up of people of color.”

Read the full article here