Oct 31, 2018 – 01:15
(Reuters) – Three Kansas militia members who were convicted of plotting to bomb the mosque and homes of Somali immigrants should be granted leniency in their sentencing because they were inspired by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric encouraging violence, lawyers for the men said in court documents.
The defence lawyers, in filings made in federal court in Kansas, said the court had to acknowledge Trump’s “rough-and-tumble verbal pummelling” in the 2016 election campaign that “heightened the rhetorical stakes for people of all political persuasions.”
One of the lawyers said that Trump continued to stoke Islamophobia.
The sentencing memorandums, filed on Monday and Tuesday, are just the latest instances of people blaming Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric for encouraging right-wing extremists.
A federal jury in April convicted Curtis Allen, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights. The attack, planned for the day after the 2016 election in Garden City, Kansas, was thwarted by another member of the group who informed authorities.
Prosecutors are seeking life terms for all three men when they are sentenced in November.
Attorneys James Pratt and Michael Shultz, representing Stein, said Trump appealed to “lost and ignored white, working-class men” like their client, who was “an early and avid supporter” of the president.
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/kansas-militia-men-blame-trump-rhetoric-for-mosque-attack-plan/44510750FILE PHOTO: L – R; Curtis Allen 49, Gavin Wright, 49 and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, arrested and charged in connection with plotting to bomb an apartment complex in western Kansas, are shown in these booking photos in Wichita, Kansas, U.S., provided October 15, 2016. Courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS