Trial begins for man accused of issuing ‘Call to Arms’ at Florida Capitol
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Daniel Baker — who is accused of issuing a “Call to Arms” at Florida’s Capitol in the days leading up to the inauguration — is now on trial.
Testimony is expected to get underway Tuesday morning at the federal courthouse in Tallahassee.
Federal prosecutors claim Baker made a real threat when he issued a “Call to Arms” on social media in the days leading up to President Biden’s inauguration.
They contend Baker had two guns, was trying to get an AK-47 and had recently purchased a rifle at a pawn shop, but had yet to pick it up.
“At a time of widespread alarm and turmoil in our nation, and at state capitals in particular, Baker’s actions clearly posed a threat to public order,” then U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said after Baker’s indictment in February.
Baker’s defense attorney contends the threat was not real, but rather “the product of the heated political dialogue” that followed the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Jury selection ran from 9 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., and 12 jurors and one alternate were chosen. Several questions from the judge were about COVID-19, specifically whether the 46 potential jurors felt uncomfortable being in the courtroom and if they’re able to wear a mask while in the jury box.
The judge also asked whether Baker’s political views would prevent potential jurors from being fair, and whether potential jurors’ views on guns or the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol would be an issue.
The trial is expected to last three days. It is not clear whether Baker will testify in his own defense.
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