Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo on Trial Today for DADT Arrest


UPDATE: The charges have apparently been dismissed by prosecutors.

Captain Jim Pietrangelo and Lt. Dan Choi will stand trial in D.C. Superior Court today at 10am.

Case summary: "Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II are each charged with two counts of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, pursuant to DC Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR 2000.2 (1995); these charges stem from arrests at the White House sidewalk, on two separate occasions, March 18, 2010 and April 20, 2010. They face a nonjury trial on both charges, on Wed., July 14, 2010, in Courtroom 120 of DC Superior Court. This Court is located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. These are relatively minor charges (the Defendants may only be fined, from $100 to $1000, and may not receive jail time for these infractions). However, the Defendants seek to use their trials to highlight the ongoing effects of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law and policy of the U.S. Armed Forces toward gay and lesbian service members"

In late June, the two soldiers subpoenaed President Obama in the trial, seeking to compel his testimony, explaining:

"The subpoena of the President is necessary for the defense to prove that Defendants were following and obeying lawful orders or directives by their President and Commander in Chief, and were therefore under an obligation and authority to act as they did in order to pressure him – in a non-violent, visible way – on this important public issue. In addition, these statements support the contention that Defendants were acting out of necessity, in order to prevent discrimination and greater harm to gay service members now serving."