Proud Boys leader Dominic Pezzola said earlier this month that he was duped by former President Donald Trump’s “deception” and “acted out of the delusional belief” that he was responding patriotically when he stormed the Capitol, Politico reported.
However, those arguments were not enough to convince a federal magistrate to release Dominic Pezzola, 43, a native of Rochester, N.Y., who was arrested about a week after last month’s riot.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather called her decision to detain Pezzola “a close call,” given his lack of a criminal record before joining in the takeover of the Capitol.
Pezzola’s attorney Jonathan Zucker wrote in a court filing that his client “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.”
Zucker continued: “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,” Zucker wrote. “Meanwhile Donald Trump resumes his life of luxury and privilege.”
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Pezzola allegedly told an individual after the insurrection that he was there to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others.
An unidentified witness who spoke with Pezzola after the riot said that he and others stated they intended to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, according to the criminal complaint. The witness said Pezzola and others intended to return to Washington on Inauguration Day to “kill every single ‘mf-er’ they can.”
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