A member of the right-wing group Proud Boys who was arrested and charged for partaking in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has rebuked former President Trump in a court filing, POLITICO reports.
Dominic Pezzola, who was charged with conspiracy last month, is asking the court to grant his release while he waits for his trial, arguing that he has no criminal history and his membership in the group was minimal. He also claimed that he was misled by the former president and was swept up in a false sense of patriotism.
“[D]efendant acted out of the delusional belief that he was a ‘patriot’ protecting his country … He was responding to the entreaties of the-then commander in chief, President Trump,” Pezzola’s lawyer wrote in the filing. “The President maintained that the election had been stolen and it was the duty of loyal citizens to ‘stop the steal.’ Admittedly there was no rational basis for the claim, but it is apparent defendant was one of millions of Americans who were misled by the President’s deception.”
“Many of those who heeded his call will be spending substantial portions if not the remainder of their lives in prison as a consequence,” Pezzola’s attorney wrote. “Meanwhile Donald Trump resumes his life of luxury and privilege.”
Prosecutors say Pezzola was among the first to breach the Capitol, accusing him of conspiring and coordinating with others.
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