In a legal move similar to a slew of other Capitol rioters, lawyers for “zip-tie guy” Eric Munchel on Wednesday insisted his actions were a direct response to months of comments made by former President Trump. In a defense memo, under a section called “prologue,” his lawyers said: “Beginning in 2020, parts of the United States government—first and foremost the President of the United States of America—told the public that the only way President Donald Trump could lose the presidential election was if the election was rigged. The memo cites Democrats’ second impeachment case to argue that, after Trump lost the election, “he and other government officials said that the presidency had been stolen from him by widespread election fraud.” Then, Trump called on his followers to fight against the results.
Munchel’s lawyers, who are asking for their client to be released pending trial, also argued that prosecutors have “presented no evidence” that he is affiliated with militant groups, hate groups or anti-government groups, or any groups who planned to do anything on Jan 6. beyond attending a rally. They say Munchel only broke into the Capitol to keep tabs on his mother, Lisa Eisenhart.