A Proud Boys attorney wonders why the former president wasn’t hit with the same charge as his clients.
Donald Trump is accused of being the driving force behind the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, and some defendants have raised questions about his role after the fact.
Trump did not, as some seemed to expect or hope, rush to their rescue with a pardon, and while he was (eventually) charged for some parts he played in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, he has not been hit with the seditious conspiracy charge on which so many of his Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been tried and convicted.
While multiple investigations — one by a Congressional panel, one by the Justice Department, and one in Georgia — have shown connections from Trump to several of the election interference efforts, and even his own direct actions at times (specifically, contacting election officials to urge them to help him defy the wishes of voters), if they have evidence showing his direct involvement in the plot to carry out an armed assault on the Capitol, they haven’t shared it publicly so far.
Prosecutors proved their case for charging extremist group members with conspiracy in large part by showing their communications in advance of the attack and demonstrating that it was planned and coordinated.
They have not shown direct communication between Trump and the convicted conspirators, though there’s evidence of these defendants communicating with others in Trump’s circle.
However, attorney Norm Pattis, who represented both Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl at their Thursday sentencing, has questions and believes that Trump may hold more responsibility.
He told Judge Timothy Kelly that Trump “sold [the defendants] a lie,” according to NBC News.
That’s not all — he also asked why Trump wasn’t charged with seditious conspiracy.
He did so in the context of trying to demonstrate that his own clients were not quite as guilty as the prosecution claimed, but in the process, made a strong case against Trump.
Pattis tried to write off the planning of the attack as mere “speech” — and said he watched a video of Trump claiming that the election would be stolen and that 74 million people believed him.
“The government hasn’t charged Trump with seditious conspiracy,” he argued.
Earlier this year, Pattis, who has also defended Trump ally Steve Bannon in an unrelated case, expressed a desire to subpoena the former president and put him on the witness stand, according to The Hill.
He was not ultimately successful in that endeavor.
Pattis: I watched a video of Donald Trump basically promising more of the same… saying "they" whoever "they are" are going to steal the election… 74M people listened to him… govt hasnt charged Trump with seditious conspiracy…
— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) August 31, 2023
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.