Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, key figures in the Proud Boys and the January 6th insurrection, were sentenced yesterday to 17 and 15 years respectively. Fast-forward ten of those years. Are Biggs and Rehl out early for good behaviour, mouldering in jail or martyrs to the cause? It’s hard to judge at this point. But two points are worth noting as an election draws near in which the level of public acceptance that Biden’s 2020 win was real will be a decisive factor: Biggs and Rehl showed remorse. Both wept before being sentenced. Biggs said he’d turned to drink after a stint in the army that included combat tours. Rehl said he was “done peddling lies for other people who don’t care about me”. Secondly, as the two men went back to prison, their lawyer turned the spotlight on Trump. “Basically he told 74 million of his followers, ‘the election was stolen, go to the Capitol, fight like hell or you won’t have a country any more,” Norm Pattis said. “Some people listened to him. Were they supposed to know that he was full of hot air?… I look forward to seeing him testify someday.” Trump is doing all he can to push that day back until after the election. Biggs and Rehl are meanwhile serving much shorter sentences than the 33 years prosecutors sought, but longer than they would have without a “terrorism enhancement” for seeking to influence the conduct of government by intimidation and coercion.
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