Common Sense for the 21st Century

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Zachary Rehl Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for His Role in the 2021 J6 Riot

Yesterday afternoon saw a mix of tears and contention as Judge Timothy J. Kelly sentenced Zachary Rehl – former President of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys fraternity – to 15 Years in Prison.  Barring a Presidential Pardon, or the overturning of the verdict on an Appeal, between now and then Mr. Rehl will most likely be released around 2033 after time served and time off for good behavior.

In a break from his demeanor during trial, there was no shortage of regret as punishment for Zach’s role in the events surrounding January 6, 2021 was meted out by the DC court.

After the Proud Boy seditious conspiracy trial concluded on May 4th of this year, Mr. Rehl fired his lawyer, Carmen Hernandez even though she fought relentlessly for Zach throughout the trial, often to the consternation of Judge Kelly. Ultimately, strategy differences between the two led Mr. Rehl to retain Norm Pattis for his sentencing and Appeals process. Pattis also represented Proud Boy Joseph Biggs both during the trial, and earlier in the day at his sentencing where he received a 17-year sentence (a sharp downward departure from both guidelines and Governments request of 33 years). 

While the Government painted Rehl as an out of controlled terrorist, Pattis argued fiercely that claims about January 6th are overblown and exaggerated.

“Sometimes I show the law all the respect I can muster, and I’m afraid it is not enough,” Pattis said as he sparred with Kelly.

Pattis’ frustration followed an earlier argument where he surmised that an over reactionary sentencing would decrease trust in our Federal Government, make things worse in the present political climate, leading to the exact opposite of the “deterrence” objective the government claimed to be seeking.

Rehl walks with Ethan Nordean before things went to hell on January 6, 2021

Nevertheless, the Government requested a 30-Year sentence.  Judge Kelly imposed the government requested “Admin of Justice” enhancement, the “Terrorism” enhancement, “Obstruction of Justice” adjustment, and “Perjury” adjustment resulting in 30 Years to Life. He ultimately made it clear on multiple occasions that these enhancements had no bearing on the sentence, but rather was more of a deterrence – making it a matter of court record.

“I probably never in my life will approach this. This was 15 years below guidelines and 15 years below what government requested. I wonder if I will ever sentence someone to 15 years below the guidelines in my career (again).”

-Judge Timothy Kelly

According to Suzzanne Monk who was in the courtroom, an emotional Mr. Rehl said, “I’m done with politics.  I’m done peddling lies for other people who don’t care about me.”  These words give us all a glimpse into the mindset of Zach – disappointed that the system, and perhaps a President, he had placed so much faith and confidence in, let him down in such a spectacular way.  

I have known Zachary Rehl as a personal friend for nearly 5 years.  I have stood beside him at more than a dozen events around the nation – and never once have I ever seen a person with more love of country, respect for law enforcement, and overall concern for the safety of all those around him. 

The pre-dawn raid when first arrested by the FBI/DOJ Task Force took Zach from his wife Amanda and their newborn baby — away from their newly purchased home, with half the boxes still left unpacked. After nearly 3 years apart already, this sentence means their daughter will spend her most formidable years visiting her father through prison glass.

Rehl with his wife Amanda during better times

“The Department of Justice is not just interfering with the 2024 Presidential Election by indicting President Donald J. Trump, but also by saying to the American people that – regardless of the outcome – if you question results then we will destroy your life and put you in prison.  This is a grave danger to our Constitutional Republic.”

-Suzzanne Monk

Truer words have never been spoken – we are indeed in dangerous times in America, and this sentence will remain a stark reminder for quite some time.

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