Criminal Justice

Lawyer recently charged in Jan. 6 riot is fired from his law firm

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A Charleston, South Carolina, lawyer charged last week with entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot has been fired from his personal injury law firm.

The lawyer, 66-year-old David Charles Johnston, said in a statement he intends to plead not guilty to the charges, and he looks forward to his day in court, the State reports.

“George Sink, P.A., injury lawyers, fired me before I was out of the courthouse,” Johnston said in the statement published by the State.

Johnston said he has voluntarily consented to the suspension of his law license “because I do not think it is fair for the bar to be presented with the difficulty of dealing with this politically charged matter.”

Johnston was arrested Friday with his neighbor and friend, 47-year-old Chadwick “Chad” Gordon Clifton, according to the State and the Post and Courier.

They face misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in any of the Capitol buildings.

According to a statement of facts filed with the criminal complaint, Clifton bragged to co-workers that he had entered the Capitol building and posted videos showing Johnston and himself inside the building on the day of the riot.

One of the videos was entitled, “Picking up trash inside the Capitol after two trash cans were tipped over.” Another was captioned, “And yes, this was moments after the storming of the Capitol.”

In a later Facebook conversation, Clifton asserted, “I was a patriot, and I made sure that people didn’t destroy things and picked up trash and we respectful. The medium made it look like we were a bunch of demons destroying things in which we were not in anyway.”

The South Carolina Bar’s member profile for Johnston said he is on an interim suspension. He is a 1991 law graduate of Campbell University.

In a biography removed from the George Sink website, Johnston said he is a motorcycle-riding married father of four, the articles report. He said his riding experience makes him a good choice to represent people injured in motorcycle crashes.

See also: “Bragging-defendant defense fails in first Capitol riot trial; is obstruction charge at risk?” “Lawyer is accused of climbing down wall, entering Capitol during Jan. 6 riot” “Lawyer accused in Capitol riot continues to defend clients; state bar takes wait-and-see approach” “Lawyer lost his job, his fiancee and his friends after presence outside Capitol riot”

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