While former President Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate for his “inciting an insurrection”, there are still plenty of folks out there who were involved, and who are now pleading for leniency.
Trump’s allies in Congress are making the case that Trump wasn’t responsible for the actions of his followers on January 6th, as they stormed the Capitol, openly lauding the idea of “hanging” Vice President Mike Pence for not intervening on Trump’s behalf in the case of the 2020 election.
But those who participated directly in the attempted insurrection are painting a different picture in court, perhaps at the promoting of their lawyers.
As Trump faces trial in the Senate on charges that he incited the Jan. 6 insurrection, a lawyer for the Proud Boy, Dominic Pezzola, filed a memo in federal court in Washington on Wednesday making an argument Democrats have stressed repeatedly in the impeachment proceedings: that the riot was the culmination of weeks of conspiracies and misinformation spread by the president to overturn the election results.
When he stormed the Capitol, Pezzola was responding to “the entreaties of the then commander in chief, President Trump,” according to the filing by lawyer Jonathan Zucker. “Defendant did not act out of criminal intent but out of conscience, albeit a frighteningly confused and distorted sense of conscience.”
Pezzola would go on to ask the judge to allow him to leave jail, promising to “not be duped so easily” in the future.
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