Trump supporter who led 'armed fighters' into the Capitol was just angry about having to wear a mask: lawyers
According to The Daily Beast, an attorney for Russell Taylor, a California man accused of leading a group of "armed fighters" into the Capitol to stop election certification on January 6, insisted in court that he should be released ahead of trial because he is not really a terrorist or an insurrectionist — he's just an ordinary guy who was driven to do what he did because he was angry about COVID-19 mask mandates.
"'He's kind of boring, this is probably the most exciting thing that'll happen in his life,' Taylor's lawyer, Dyke Huish, said during a Tuesday detention hearing," reported Pilar Melendez. "'Really he's kind of a vanilla kind of guy — though admittedly he was upset about the masks.' Huish describing his client as 'moderately successful,' and a religious man who doesn't drink and went to Brigham Young University. He insisted that Taylor's actions during the insurrection were unique and spurred by his anger over the state-wide lockdown and mask mandate. He denied that Taylor is a militiaman — just that his documented violent actions were misunderstood. 'This was a guy who got mad about the masks and so he got wound up and felt like this was an appropriate thing to do,' Huish said during the hearing."
Prosecutors, however, outlined evidence that Taylor wasn't quite the easygoing family man his lawyer characterized him as.
"In a Tuesday court filing arguing for detention, prosecutors further laid out Taylor's coordinated efforts to plan an attack on the Capitol — including sharing a Jan. 5 photo Taylor took of his tactical vest, hatchets, knife, gloves, and backpack with the caption 'now getting ready for tomorrow,'" said the report. "From at least December, he texted [fellow rioter Alan] Hostetter about travel plans to D.C. and whether they should bring firearms. Prosecutors allege the pair are leaders of the American Phoenix Project, described as a group that 'advocate[s] for violence against individuals and groups who supported the 2020 presidential election results.'"
The FBI originally conducted raids in response to the American Phoenix Project in early February. The wife of Hostetter, a well-known schoolteacher in San Clemente, triggered bitter controversy in her Southern California community with her involvement in the insurrection.
Scandal-plagued Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has become so toxic that his former staffers are dropping their links to him from their professional biographies.
At least 25 of the Florida Republican's former congressional staffers do not mention Gaetz's name on their LinkedIn pages, according to an analysis by Insider.
A former GOP congressional aide said Gaetz staffers were wise to drop their links to the lawmaker, who is the subject of a federal sex-trafficking investigation and an ethics probe.
"There is literally no upside to putting Gaetz on your résumé," the former GOP staffer said. "You wouldn't want to say, 'Hey future employer, I worked for a guy who was a potential sex trafficker. It's very savvy to leave that name off."
A Gaetz spokesman complained about the article's premise when contacted for comment.
"The only way the media would know this is if they are trawling through former Capitol staffers' social media pages," said Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill. "The only reason those staffers want to keep certain information away from their social media pages is because the stalkers in the corporate media keep harassing them in a continued, partisan effort to undermine Rep. Gaetz. This creepy media behavior will be made very public soon. Stay tuned."
CNN on Wednesday put together a brutal supercut of Republican lawmakers who voted against awarding medals to Capitol police officers despite in the past claiming to fully back law enforcement officers.
Among the many Republicans featured in the segment was Rep. John Rose (R-TN), who last summer declared that "when police forces around the nation are themselves under attack, I want our law enforcement officers to know that I will continue to support the thin blue line."
Rose nonetheless voted against medals for officers who protected Congress during the Trump-incited riots on January 6th.
Also coming in for criticism was Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), who infamously barricaded himself in his office during the riot but later claimed that the rioters were just "tourists" going on a peaceful visit of the Capitol building.
Despite voting against medals for Capitol officers, Clyde in the past has boasted about "having worked with law enforcement for over 30 years" and understanding the "risks our brave officers undergo on a daily basis."
Attention then turned to scandal-plagued Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who once stated that "the overwhelming number of people who wear that uniform, whether it's in our law enforcement or in our National Guard, they do it because they love America and they love Americans, and we need to stand with them."
Gaetz, like nearly two dozen of his fellow Republicans, voted against the bill awarding medals to Capitol police.
Watch the full supercut below.
Brutal supercut busts 'Back the Blue' Republicans who voted against medals for Capitol cops www.youtube.com
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