The Nazis on trial in Charlottesville Thursday had three and a half hours between them to make the case as to why they shouldn’t be blamed for the violent “Unite the Right” rally they planned, executed, and hurt people at in 2017.
Instead, many of these white supremacists tried to make it seem as if they’re one of the “good” ones, unlike some of those other white supremacists. Literal Nazi attorney James Kolenich, who represents Nazis Jason Kessler and Nathan Damigo, and the Nazi group Identity Evropa, claimed that his clients only perpetrated acts of physical violence sans automobile, and said young people are spry enough to bounce back from being shoved around.
He equated the Nazi groups and individuals he’s defending with a softball league in which alt-right assholes are the players, the police are the umpires, and Antifa inexplicably hates softball and came to protest their game. Oh, but for some reason, James Fields drove his car into the field while Antifa celebrated the dissolution of the softball game. Kolenich stressed that those bats and balls (i.e, the shields and flagpoles Nazis used to attack counter-protesters) are all part of the game. As if his defense wasn’t bad enough for his clients, Kolenich wrapped up his remarks by saying it was a pleasure to be a part of this case.
David Campbell, attorney for James Fields, was up next. He argued that his client should be spared a civil judgment against him because he’s already serving multiple consecutive life sentences and, well, gestures vaguely at other Nazis. Campbell has honestly no good reason to pretend Fields’ brutal attack was a “lone wolf” incident, and actually may have made things worse for Fields’ fellow Nazis by citing Fields stomping around with a Vanguard America shield.
After a lunch break, Richard Spencer began his ill-conceived closing arguments. He quoted a general who influenced Nazi policy in Germany, and whose name was used as a codeword when Nazi Germany attempted to defend Berlin as World War II entered its final stages. Spencer tried to pass off Carl Von Clausewitz as merely “a historian.”
Spencer labeled the trial a form of “character assassination” yet doubled down on his white supremacist beliefs and claimed that the Unite the Right rally was supposed to be an extension of his 2017 tour. He flat-out told the jury he believes in the cause of white supremacy, but there’s really no such thing as pure intentions making for a goodly Nazi.
Spencer really couldn’t stop himself as he cited Donald Trump’s infamous “good people on both sides” comment, before earning a scolding from Judge Norman Moon, who noted that Trump’s words weren’t entered into evidence. Nonetheless, Spencer does believe there are good people on both sides. Inspiring.
The true highlight of Spencer’s Nazi-branded narcissism was an exchange in which he appeared close to comparing himself to Jesus before the judge once again reprimanded him.
And finish he did. Spencer called for “Newtonian justice” and if that’s not a coded phrase to get someone to pelt you with apples, I don’t know what is.
Attorney Bryan Jones, who represents Michael Hill, Michael Tubbs, and the League of the South, tried to do his job by claiming the racist organization Hill and Tubbs co-founded had nothing to do with the tiki torch march or the car attack but quickly lost the plot as he ranted about alleged conspiracy theories, blamed a counter-protester for being brutalized by his clients, then compared the whole rally to going fishing and reeling in a big catch.
ReBrook’s closing arguments are entirely worth skipping, save for the fact that he believes he could’ve shot JFK himself from the vantage point Lee Harvey Oswald was at in the Texas School Depository. ReBrook passed the closing argument baton to Joshua Smith, who represents Matt Heimbach, Matt Parrott, and the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP). All you need to know about Smith’s remarks is that he played a TWP recruitment video—as if whining about white genocide and admiring apartheid somehow makes his Nazi clients more sympathetic individuals.
Chris “Crying Nazi” Cantwell closed things out on the defendants’ side with an incredible display of whiny obfuscation in which he was clearly still upset that counter-protesters crashed his members-only meet-and-greet in a Walmart parking lot, and that no one gives a shit about whatever bodycam footage he shot in said parking lot. Cantwell screamed his way into overtime as he continued quoting from his blogs and podcasts and condescending to the jury you’d think he’d try to win over.
This is a slam-dunk case for Integrity First for America’s lawyers, who have masterfully exposed the Nazi defendants for who they are while successfully advocating on behalf of plaintiffs whose lives will never be the same after the 2017 “Unite the Right” event. It’s only right that the Nazis in the Sines vs. Kessler case pay up for all the damage they’ve caused.