Attorneys for man convicted of hate crime point to Trump campaign in leniency plea
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The attorneys for a man convicted in a anti-Muslim hate crime on Monday asked the judge to consider President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE’s campaign rhetoric as a “backdrop” to the case before sentencing.

Patrick Stein was found guilty in April of weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights charges after taking part in a three-man conspiracy to kill Muslim refugees in Kansas before the 2016 election, HuffPost reported.

His attorneys, James Pratt and Michael Shultz, argued in a sentencing memo that Stein should be sentenced to 15 years in prison instead of a life sentence because of the current events at the time.

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“2016 was ‘lit.’ The court cannot ignore the circumstances of one of the most rhetorically mold-breaking, violent, awful, hateful and contentious presidential elections in modern history, driven in large measure by the rhetorical China shop bull who is now our president,” they wrote in the memo obtained by HuffPost. 

The lawyers wrote that Trump’s “rough-and-tumble verbal pummeling heightened the rhetorical stakes for people of all political persuasions” ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Stein was an “early and avid” supporter of Trump and the three men allegedly prepared their plot to take place after the election so it would not aid Democratic candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE’s campaign, the outlet noted.

“Trump’s win changed everything, and it is reasonable to speculate that it would have changed things among the defendants as well,” the attorneys wrote. “The urgency for action would be gone. The feeling of a losing battle would be gone. The conspiracies, in part, would be disproven as the transition from Obama to Trump took place.”

“It is logical to conclude that the discussed attack would never have happened in the world that existed post-Trump,” they continued.

Stein and his two co-conspirators, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, were recorded by an undercover FBI agent of planning to bomb an apartment complex that housed Muslims in Garden City.

His attorneys claim that Stein’s knowledge of Islam did not come from Muslims but from “internet and conservative talk-show hosts such as Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.”

“Patrick himself had never read the Quran, nor had he participated in a comparative study of any religion,” they wrote.