A member of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys who was arrested for partaking in the riot at the U.S. Capitol told a court on Wednesday that he was lulled into "deception" by former President Donald Trump and "acted out of the delusional belief" that he was being patriotic by storming the Capitol, POLITICO reports.
Dominic Pezzola was charged with conspiracy last month and is asking a federal court to grant his release pending trial, saying that his membership in the Proud Boys was minimal and that he has no other criminal history. But as POLITICO points out, most notable in Pezzola's defense is his repudiation of Trump.
"[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 argued. "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."
Read the full report over at POLITICO.