CINCINNATI (AP) — A college student awaiting federal trial on a charge he tried to rush the stage at a Donald Trump rally asked for court permission Wednesday to go to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention featuring Trump as its presumptive presidential nominee.
In the motion, Thomas DiMassimo swears he will abide by federal and local laws while at the July 18-21 convention. Judge Sharon Ovington didn’t rule immediately. DiMassimo’s attorney declined to comment, citing the judge’s admonition to both sides not to discuss the case publicly.
The Wright State University student was arrested March 12 at a Dayton-area rally at an airport hangar, touching the stage while Trump was speaking before Secret Service and other security agents converged.
He has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegally entering a restricted area, which carries a potential one-year sentence and fines if convicted. Trial is scheduled for Aug. 29 in Dayton.
DiMassimo, 22, has said he wanted to grab the microphone at the event to show people they could stand up to Trump. Trump praised the Secret Service for acting so quickly and called DiMassimo a “maniac” on Twitter after the rally, which was his first after well-organized students succeeded in keeping him from taking the stage for a Chicago event.
DiMassimo’s attorney, Jon Paul Rion, also has a motion pending before the judge to dismiss the case, saying the federal statute is vague and violates DiMassimo’s constitutional rights. He said earlier that DiMassimo only wanted to express his political views.
“Passions are high in this election,” Benjamin C. Glassman, acting U.S. attorney for southern Ohio, said earlier this year about the DiMassimo case. Regardless of whether people attend political events to support a candidate or to protest, it’s important that everyone is safe, Glassman said.
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