An accused Capitol rioter and leader of the Proud Boys militia group is invoking Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse's case in arguing that charges against him should be dropped.
"In a brief filed on behalf of accused rioter Zachary Rehl, defense attorney Jonathon Moseley claimed that the Proud Boys went to D.C. to defend 'vulnerable demonstrators' from anti-fascists, akin to what Kyle Rittenhouse claimed to have done during civil unrest in August 2020 following the police shooting of Jacob Blake," Business Insider reports.
Mosely wrote in a brief seeking to have some of Rehl's charges dropped that the Proud Boys traveled to Washington on Jan. 6 "to patrol the perimeter of the crowds and the places where crowds were gathered to defend vulnerable demonstrators against violent attacks from ANTIFA, not unlike what Kyle Rittenhouse did in Kenosah, Wisconsin."
"What they actually planned to do and did was to make sure that the defenseless Trump supporters in the gun free zone of D.C. did not get jumped and stabbed by the rioters who had run amok all during 2020," Mosely wrote.
Rehl, the president of the Philly Proud Boys, is among those who also face a civil lawsuit from Capitol police officers, accusing him of conspiring to commit "bias-motivated acts of terrorism."
"Federal prosecutors accused Rehl in March of helping to foment the Capitol riot after uncovering encrypted text-message exchanges between him and other leaders of the organization in which they discussed plans to 'rile up the normies' that had gathered for a pro-Trump rally in Washington on Jan. 6," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Afterward, Rehl posted on social media that he was 'proud as f*ck [for] what we accomplished yesterday."
In a motion last month seeking Zehl's pretrial release from jail, Mosely compared him to falsely accused Olympic bombing suspect Richard Jewell, and argued that the Department of Justice is unfairly treating him like "a James Bond supervillain mastermind."