Zachary Rehl travelled to DC to ‘defend vulnerable demonstrators against violent attacks from ANTIFA, not unlike what Kyle Rittenhouse did’, his attorney claims
A court motion – filed on the same day as Rittenhouse was acquitted – claims that Zachary Rehl travelled to Washington DC ahead of the Capitol riots to “defend vulnerable demonstrators against violent attacks from ANTIFA, not unlike what Kyle Rittenhouse did”.
Rittenhouse was found not guilty of homicide charges on Friday after he fatally shot two men and injured another with an AR-15-style rifle on 25 août, 2020 during the third night of protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Protests grew in the city after a white Kenosha Police Department officer shot Jacob Blake, un homme noir, leaving him paralysed.
Mr Rehl, a leader of a Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia, is charged with conspiration, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, entering restricted ground and disorderly conduct for allegedly participating in the attack on Congress fuelled by the baseless narrative that the 2020 l'élection a été volée à Donald Trump. Il a plaidé non coupable.
Defense attorney Jonathon Moseley claimed that the Proud Boys “primarily came” to Washington DC on 6 January “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 [Kenosha], Wisconsin,” according to the motion filed on Friday.
The motion – signalé pour la première fois par NBC4 – claims that Proud Boys members were in DC to “make sure that the defenseless Trump supporters in the gun free zone of DC did not get jumped and stabbed by the rioters who had run amok all during 2020”.
Mr Rehl and other Proud Boys defendants have been accused of organising and fundraising for an attack on the Capitol, using encrypted platforms and handheld radios to coordinate their assault, and then storming the halls of Congress.
Presque 700 people have been charged in federal cases stemming from the Capitol attack.
Au 30 décembre, 2020, Mr Rehl allegedly posted a fundraising campaign to collect money called “Travel Expenses for Upcoming Patriot Events,” according to an indictment.
The FBI said the campaign raised $5,500 par 4 janvier, and that Mr Rehl was among 60 people using an encrypted messaging platform to organise their trip to Washington.
“I’m proud as f*** [pour] what we accomplished yesterday, but we need to start planning for a Biden presidency,” Mr Rehl posted to an encrypted chat channel with other members on 7 janvier, selon les documents judiciaires.
Mr Rittenhouse was acquitted of the five charges against him after his attorneys argued he fired his weapon in self-defense as he feared for his life.
In January this year, the teenager was photographed with alleged members of the Proud Boys inside a Wisconsin bar while wearing a “Free as F***” T-shirt.
L'indépendant has requested comment from Mr Rehl’s attorney.