Lawyers for the alleged Kansas City cell head of the Proud Boys have accused former President Donald Trump of the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, telling a federal magistrate that the five weeks since then had shattered the dream of fever.
William Chrestman, an Army veteran and union sheet metal worker from Olathe, Kansas, remains in custody as the judge considers whether to release him before his trial. He is charged with conspiracy, obstruction of due process, threat of assault on a federal law enforcement officer and other charges arising from the melee.
Prosecutors are seeking to keep him in detention, arguing that he poses a danger to the community and a risk of absconding. Defense attorneys claim Chrestman will not run away and maintain that he poses no danger as he and the world around him have changed a lot since that day. They claim that his arrest berated him rather than emboldened him.
Judge James OHara, US justice of the peace, said in a detention hearing on Wednesday that he would decide within days of Chrestman’s release pending trial, the Kansas City Star reported.
It is an amazing thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks, flags and bear bombs, against armed and highly trained law enforcement. Only someone who thought they had official approval would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who paid attention would really believe it, ”defense attorneys argued.
His lawyers have claimed in a court filing that the Proud Boys are watching their rhetorical pro-America, pro-capitalism, and pro-Trump strategy of allowing them to enter the Republican mainstream. They saw law enforcement attack Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters, but escort the Proud Boys and their allies to safety. They saw their leader, Enrique Tarrio, be appointed Florida State Director of Latinos for Trump, they wrote.
The defense also argued that the Trump campaign was well aware of the organized participation of Proud Boy rallies merging into the Trump events. When then-President Trump had the opportunity to disavow them during a presidential debate, Trump instead told them to step back and be ready, “which they understood as” a call weapons and preparation ”.
The five weeks since January 6 shattered the fever dream. The Proud Boys are now radioactive. All air of respectability is gone, the defense lawyers wrote. The Proud Boys are in disarray, as state chapters disown the chairman and group leaders bicker in public and private over which direction to take in bringing the Proud Boys.
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