Proud Boys Charged In Capitol Insurrection Blame Trump For Actions In Court
Dominic Pezzola, a member of the white nationalist group the Proud Boy hailing from Rochester, N.Y., said that he “acted out of… delusional belief” while participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. He placed the blame for his actions on former President Donald Trump and claimed he had been “deceived” into believing that he was performing a patriotic act.
Nonetheless, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather stated on Wednesday, “I conclude the government has demonstrated that Mr. Pezzola should be held without bond.” Pezzola is facing seven felony charges.
Judge Meriweather’s decision probably does not come as a surprise – Pezzola, who questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s election, is reportedly part of a group that plans to return to Washington to incite violence and owns a copy of the The Anarchist Cookbook, a guide to making homemade weapons. This evidence, and more, was brought to light during Pezzola’s hearing.
Pezzola’s defense attorney denounced the charges against his client: “They’re stretching here by charging offenses that are serious, but they really don’t have the element of violence or danger. He’s not claimed to have attempted to hurt, threatened to hurt, or actually hurt anybody.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson maintained that Pezzola’s actions were, in fact, impactful: “He, at that point, was the first to breach the Capitol so well that other rioters could stream through. His action there at that window allowed scores of people to enter the building before either legislative chamber had been evacuated.”
Additionally, the prosecutor pointed out, “He committed multiple crimes of violence and a crime that’s defined as terrorism in that process. There’s no indication he’s changed his mind about fomenting rebellion since Jan. 6.”
Still, Pezzola may be able to appeal the detention decision to Timothy Kelly, the federal District Court judge on his case.