GOP State Senator asks supporters to donate to Lindstrom family indicted in January 6 riot

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A Minnesota state senator is encouraging his supporters to donate to a Lindstrom family facing federal criminal charges in connection with their participation in the Jan.6 uprising on the United States Capitol.

Senator Mark Koran, a North Branch Republican whose district includes the small town 40 miles northeast of the Twin Cities, on Friday posted a link to a crowdfunding site started by a member of the Westbury family – whose four members are now among the eight Minnesotans will so far be charged with crimes related to the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

“Here is a local family in Lindstrom who may need help,” Quran wrote. “They attended the rally on January 6 and were charged and charged with various crimes. Some very serious and some just seem to punish opposing views. All I ask is that they need to ‘help to mount a fair defense against an authoritarian justice ministry. They make a good family! “

Messages were left looking for comments on the Quran on Friday.

Earlier this month, District of Columbia prosecutors charged Robert Westbury, 62, Isaac Westbury, 19, and a third man, Aaron James, 35, with crimes ranging from assaulting Capitol Hill cops to disruption of government affairs. The arrests came just six months after another son, Jonah Westbury, 26, was indicted in connection with the siege on the Capitol.

The new indictment binding three of the four relatives included allegations that two of the men – Isaac Westbury and Aaron James – used a shield to assault and obstruct a law enforcement officer at the United States Capitol.

More than 600 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the storming of the United States Capitol, where a pro-Trump mob sought to disrupt a joint session of Congress called to certify the presidential election results of 2020. The Justice Department described its ongoing investigation as the largest federal criminal investigation ever undertaken.

The four Lindstrom defendants have since been released pending trial. Documents filed in court in Jonah Westbury’s case indicate he is close to reaching a plea deal to resolve his case.

The crowdfunding campaign promoted by Quran Friday was created by Rosemarie Westbury, who identified herself as the wife of Robert Westbury and the mother of the other three defendants.

“My family is the target of this illegitimate [sic], tyrannical government, ”Rosemarie Westbury wrote on the website, which included a series of photos of armed law enforcement officers allegedly leading the October 4 arrest operation at Lindstrom’s family home.

According to court records, three of the four men are represented by attorneys appointed under the Criminal Justice Act 1964, which provides court-appointed legal representation for those who cannot afford to hire their own. lawyer. On the crowdfunding site, Rosemarie Westbury wrote that the family have “a lawyer who is ready to defend us, but it will not be an inexpensive endeavor.”

The goal of the crowdfunding campaign is to raise $ 50,000. As of Friday afternoon, he had raised $ 200 in anonymous donations, one of which was made an hour after Quran shared a link to the website on his Facebook page.

A message has been left soliciting comments from the family. Rosemarie Westbury, when joined by the Star Tribune earlier this month, described the case as part of a “tyrannical system that intimidates the citizens of this great United States of America.” She later added: “The government we have in place is an internal threat to me.”

Rosemarie Westbury’s crowdfunding website describes one of her sons as a U.S. Army veteran.

“My son served this country honorably for 7 years, as a soldier he served in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines,” she wrote. “The country he served has turned against him.”

Also on Friday, Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin cited the Quran’s message among a list of recent examples of “dangerous extremism within the Minnesota Republican Party.”

Martin was calling on Minnesota GOP Party Chairman David Hann to impeach Beltrami County Republican Party Chairman Rich Siegert after comments to a ProPublica reporter who inquired about documents linking the former candidate to the State Senate and GOP activist Steven Booth at extremist group Oath Keeper.

Martin also urged Hann to “develop and implement a comprehensive plan to counter extremism within the Republican Party of Minnesota, encompassing approved candidates, incumbent elected officials and local leaders.”

“For far too long the Minnesota Republican Party has welcomed dangerous political extremists into their midst,” Martin said in a statement. “The January 6 assault on the United States Capitol should have been a wake-up call to the logical endpoint of violent and extremist rhetoric, but Republican officials in Minnesota continue to turn a blind eye to extremism in the country. better and favor it for the worst. “

Hann told the Star Tribune on Friday that he spoke to both Siegert and the Koran. He said Siegert told him he didn’t know anything about the Oath Keepers. Hann said the Koran had meanwhile confirmed to him that he was trying to help the Westbury family raise money for their defense.

“I think it’s strange that Ken Martin thinks it’s an extreme position to allow people to have a day in court to defend themselves unless he thinks people are guilty when they’re charged instead. only when they have been tried and have been proven guilty, “Hann said.” So if it is extremism, I think it is remarkable that Democrats believe that our system is based on a presumption of innocence to conviction, that trying to help people get through their day in court is extreme. “


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