When sentencing a Jan. 6 rioter, a federal judge signaled Friday that he considers former President Donald Trump to be partly responsible for the Capitol riot.
Judge Amit Mehta commented on the Capitol storming as he delivered a 14-day jail sentence to Jan. 6 rioter John Lolos, which the judge said was shorter than it would have been to reflect that he believes Lolos was responding to Trump's call.
Mehta stated while handing down the sentence, according to Politico:
"He didn't purposely come to Washington, DC to storm the Capitol. The fact remains that he and others were called to Washington DC by an elected official, prompted to walk to the Capitol by an elected official. People like Mr. Lolos were told lies, told falsehoods, told our election was stolen when it clearly was not."
Mehta then suggested that Trump and his allies were partly to blame for the actions of Lolos and other defendants: "People like Mr. Lolos were told lies, told falsehoods, told our election was stolen when it clearly was not."
"We're here today deciding whether Mr. Lolos should spend 30 days in jail when those who created the conditions that led to Mr. Lolos’ conduct, led to the events of Jan. 6 [haven't been] held to account for their actions and their word," he said.
Mehta called Lolos "a pawn in a game directed and played by people who should know better." The judge added, "I think that mitigates your conduct."
In addition to the Lolos case, Mehta is also presiding over a conspiracy case brought against 20 members of the Oath Keepers group.