Georgia lawyer in Capitol assault says mob was patriotic and heroic

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Americus, Georgia, lawyer McCall Calhoun was among the first people to enter the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Calhoun, a criminal defense lawyer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the people who forced their way into the Capitol were “tourists” who did not harm priceless paintings.

“The people who went in there, what they did was heroic. It was very patriotic,” he said. “I’m not saying it was the ideal thing to do. I am saying at that time and place those people felt like that was their only hope. They don’t want to lose their democratic republic.”

Before the rally, Calhoun had talked about a coming civil war on social media. On Twitter, he retweeted an altered photo of President-elect Joe Biden that mentioned hanging.

Asked about the photo, Calhoun told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Trump voters say that all the time, and, “We’re just ornery.”

Clark Cunningham, a professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution if Calhoun sees his conduct as civil disobedience, he should accept the legal penalty, as Mahatma Gandhi did. The penalty for the crime of sedition can be up to 20 years in prison, he said.

Cunningham also suggested that Calhoun could have violated ethics rules that ban lawyers from committing criminal acts that reflect on fitness to practice law.

Calhoun said his crime amounted to no more than trespassing.

“I would freely admit that I trespassed, but I did it for the love of my country,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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