J6 political prisoner Zachary Rehl is no longer able to afford a private attorney without assistance from the American people.
The government is seeking 30 years in federal prison for Rehl, the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys, for “his role in the Capitol riot.”
Rehl committed no violent crimes on January 6 and merely walked through the Capitol building on January 6 for a few minutes, took a selfie in the building then left the Capitol grounds.
Prosecutors argue the 37-year-old Marine Corps veteran and his allies, former Proud Boys chair Enrique Tarrio, 39, Joe Bigs. 39, and Ethan Nordean, 33, aimed to foment a revolution on January 6 to keep former President Donald Trump in power in a “terror attack” that left a stain on American democracy.
The role that Rehl and Tarrio, Nordean, and Biggs played in “organizing” the Jan. 6, 2021, “attack” on the U.S. Capitol “threatened the bedrock principles of our country’ and warranted the significant punishment, government lawyers argued in a court filing late Thursday.”
“The defendants understood the stakes, and they embraced their role in bringing about a ‘revolution,” prosecutors wrote in a 155-page sentencing memo. “They unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election. The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; They are criminals.”
“[W]hile freedom, democracy, and the Constitution prevailed on January 6th, it was not without cost,” the government continued. “Alongside the enduring legacy of bravery and honor by those who defended our country, a harsh reality has emerged — political violence is not some foreign concept that exists only in faraway lands, it exists here too.”
Rehl, Tarrio, Nordean, and Biggs were convicted of seditious conspiracy on May 4 by jurors who reside in a district with a 92 percent voting rate for Brandon. The selected jurors admitted on the stand that they support Antifa and attended Black Lives Matter rallies and the Women’s Marches and each insisted the Proud Boys are a group of white supremacists.
The government is urging U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly to deem their conduct “terrorism,” a designation that would result in sharply increased sentences.
On January 6, after dodging lethal munitions fired by police on January 6, Rehl, Biggs and Nordean walked through the Capitol building for approximately 20 minutes. Biggs went back into the building a second time to help another demonstrator find their son. The group then left the Capitol grounds.
Tarrio was not in Washington DC during the Capitol riot.
Two days prior to the J6 protest, Tarrio was swatted by the FBI and arrested for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that was stolen from a church during a Stop the Steal rally. At the time, Tarrio was unaware the flag was stolen. In July, Tarrio and the Proud Boys were fined $1.2 million dollars for burning the BLM flag.
The government is seeking 33 years for Tarrio, and Biggs.
Dominic Pezzola, a fifth Proud Boy tried alongside the others, joined the Proud Boys just 30 days prior to January 6 and was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted on other offenses. Pezzola was in a state of shock after the government indiscriminately fired rubber bullets, flash grenades and canisters of tear gas at the crowd, prompting Pezolla to grab a police shield he found on the ground for protection. In a moment of rage, Pezzola shattered a Senate-wing window with the police riot shield.
Pezzola’s attorneys contend government tried Pezzola with Rehl, Tarrio, Biggs, and Nordean to further “muck” the other Proud Boys with Pezzola’s offenses.
Bias reporting from state-run media claims the Proud Boys are a white supremacist group, a narrative the mainstream media has propagated for years about conservatives and former President Donald Trump.
A report from the Brennan Center for Justice details how an FBI agent “went undercover to infiltrate the white supremacist group.”
Contrary to the government and media narratives, the Proud Boys themselves as “American Supremacists.” The group’s former national chairman Enrique Tarrio is a Cuban American.
But the left equates American patriotism with “white supremacy.” A headline by The New York Times published Saturday claims Tarrio is “the Latino White Supremacist.”
The proposed prison sentences for the Proud Boys would nearly double the lengthiest Jan. 6 sentence handed down to date. Judge Amit Metah sentenced Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes to 18 years in prison and added terror enhancements to Rhodes’ sentence because Rhodes maintained the election was stolen in 2020 interviews subsequent of his arrest. The government is also seeking additional terror enhancement against Rhodes following his sentencing to lengthen his prison sentence.
Prosecutors contend Rhodes’ sentence reflects the pivotal role that Proud Boys leaders played in inciting and exacerbating the violence at the Capitol during the riot.
Rehl has been incarcerated, primarily in solitary confinement, since March 17, 2021.
Norm Pattis, a defense attorney for Biggs and Rhel, is seeking “time served” sentences for his clients.
The Proud Boys are in the crossfire of a larger political battle, Pattis contends in a sentencing memorandum:
The defendants are not terrorists. Whatever excesses of zeal they demonstrated on January 6, 2021, and no matter how grave the potential interference with the orderly transfer of power due to the events of that day, a decade or more behind bars is an excessive punishment.
Mr. Rehl served in the United States Marine Corps from late 2009 until May 30, 2012, when he was medically discharged with a 100-percent service-related disability. While a Marine, he received a Navy Commendation and a Good Conduct medal, as well as a meritorious promotion. He received a disability pension until the time of his arrest, when pension benefits were revoked.
Mr. Rehl is married, and the couple have a two-year-old daughter; given his incarceration, the defendant has been kept from such simple and sustaining pleasures as watching his daughter take her first steps, putting her to bed, or helping her to explore the everyday contours of the world. (Rehl PSR, para. 141.) He is acutely aware of all that he, and his daughter, are missing as a result, and worries this his absence from her life on a day-to-day basis will have a profound effect on her growth the development. His marriage is strong and stable.
Rehl’s wife was six months pregnant when the FBI agents raided their home. She has since had to raise their now two-year-old daughter alone. She and her family have been smeared as domestic terrorists in local and national media reports, which has made it near impossible to for her to secure employment.
Rehl and Biggs were also stripped of their military benefits following the seditious conspiracy conviction, making life more difficult for Rehl’s wife, who is now a single mother, during his incarceration.
Rehl and the former Proud Boy leaders intend to fight their case in the Supreme Court. But after nearly three years of litigation, continuing to secure private counsel throughout appeals is not possible without the support of the American people.
Murderers, rapists and child molesters are being given less prison time than the Rehl and Proud Boys who walked through the Capitol building and committed no violent crimes, or weren’t even in Washington DC on January 6.
2 attorneys fire bombed a NYPD cop car just seconds after police exited the vehicle during the BLM riots.
The DOJ worked out a plea deal with the 2 defendants.
They were given a little over a year in prison.
— Breanna Morello (@BreannaMorello) August 18, 2023