A Capitol rioter who served as president of the Philadelphia Proud Boys is comparing himself to falsely accused Olympic bombing suspect Richard Jewell, and arguing that the Department of Justice is unfairly treating him like "a James Bond supervillain mastermind."
Jonathon A. Mosely, an attorney for Zachary Rehl, put forth those arguments in a motion filed Wednesday seeking his client's pre-trial release from jail. In the motion, Mosely alleged that Rehl "had nothing to do" with violence against police officers on Jan. 6.
In fact, Mosely claimed that it was not until video from the insurrection was played during former president Donald Trump second impeachment trial that Rehl learned "the full measure of what happened in other parts of a 751 foot long building and at different time coordinates stretched over a 5 hour period of time."
"In 1996, the FBI rushed to assume that Security Guard Richard Jewell who actually warned of finding the bomb before it went off was the bomber," Mosely wrote in the motion. "Indeed, will a mad rush to accuse Zachary Rehl as being a James Bond supervillain mastermind end up compromising the Government's prosecution of those actually responsible for violent confrontations with police officers?"
Mosely claimed that Rehl, a Marine veteran who is the son and grandson of Philadelphia police officers, is "an activist supporting the Back the Blue movement," and has recently launched an online fundraiser to raise money for cops injured in the Capitol riot.
"A Treasurer is being sought to be independent and give (the fundraiser) reliability," according to the motion.
Rehl and presidents from other Proud Boys chapters are accused of conspiring to storm the Capitol, after the FBI discovered encrypted text-message exchanges in which they discussed plans to "rile up the normies" who gathered for Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally.
"Afterward, Rehl posted on social media that he was 'proud as f*ck [for] what we accomplished yesterday," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
In addition to charges in the Capitol riot, Rehl is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by seven police officers who were injured during the insurrection.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump conspired with leaders from the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and others to commit "bias-motivated acts of terrorism."