He must be so proud of his base

He must be so proud of his base

by digby

Just don't call them deplorable because that would be very rude:

Three right-wing militiamen from rural Kansas were found guilty on Wednesday in a 2016 plot to slaughter Muslim refugees living in an apartment complex in Garden City.

Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen were found guilty on charges of weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights. Wright was also found guilty on a charge of lying to the FBI. The defendants will face a potential life sentence when they come back to court in late June.

The jury decided the case after slightly less than a day of deliberations. The three defendants showed little outward emotion as the verdicts were read. Afterward, defense attorneys comforted the defendants’ family members, who did not wish to speak to members of the media.

In closing arguments, attorneys for the defendants had accused the FBI of overstepping and targeting the group because of rhetoric that, while hateful, was protected by the First Amendment.

The prosecution’s case depended largely on secret recordings made by Dan Day, an FBI informant who masqueraded as a militia member, infiltrating the three men’s group for months. An undercover officer working on behalf of the FBI had also met with Stein, posing as an arms dealer who shared the group’s anti-Muslim beliefs and was willing to build them a bomb.

Jurors heard recording after recording of the men expressing a murderous hatred of Muslims, who they called “cockroaches.”

“The fucking cockroaches in this country have to go, period,” said Stein, who went by the code name “Orkin Man” in text messages with other militia members. “They are the fucking problem in this country right now. They are the threat in this country right now.”

In another recording, the men could be heard mapping out targets on Google Earth, dropping a “pin” labeled “cockroaches” over areas they knew to have a high concentration of Muslims. They eventually settled on a main target: a Garden City apartment complex that’s home to many Somali Muslim immigrants and the mosque where they worship.

The prosecution presented evidence that the men had started to collect explosive materials. Per the recordings made by Day, their plan was to detonate bombs at the apartment complex in November 2016. They wanted the explosions to occur during Muslim prayer times when more potential victims would be there, “packed in like sardines,” as Stein put it. The bomb’s shock waves, he hoped, would make “Jello out of their insides.”

Defense attorneys had attempted to characterize such comments as mere bluster. But prosecutors pre-empted this line of argument, in part, by calling another militia member to the stand.

Brody Benson, part of the Kansas Security Forces militia, held anti-Muslim beliefs himself. “Fucking Islam,” he wrote in a Facebook post in June 2016. “I’m done. Kill them all. Bring on the DOJ.”

But Benson testified that when he heard Stein talk about his plan to kill Somali immigrants in Garden City, he knew Stein was for real.

“I actually thought it was not just talk — it was more of an actual action, action,” Benson said in testimony. “I had a gut feeling that what was just banter back and forth, ranting and everything else, was turning into something more serious and concrete.”

“This isn’t a case about the thought police,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mattivi said during closing arguments. “The defendants plotted to murder dozens of innocent men, women and children. They didn’t just talk. They’re not here because of their words.”

In his final comments to the jury, Mattivi focused on a recording of a discussion the men had about what type of shrapnel to pack their bomb with to inflict the most damage. Stein suggested blades for drywall knives. Allen said ball bearings. “Anything that will kill and maim,” Wright said.

They loved the man they call "The Man" so much they delayed their attack until after the election:

The men were enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump, who vilified Muslims during his presidential campaign and has continued to do so while in office. During the plotting, Stein reportedly referred to then-candidate Trump as “the Man.” The men had planned their attack for after the 2016 election, so as not to hurt Trump’s chances of winning. Delaying the attack until then would avoid giving “any ammunition” to their political opponents, Stein said.

But he had nothing to do with this criminal activity:

Trump had frequently spoken out against Muslim refugees in the runup to the 2016 election. Kansas’ top federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister, brushed aside a question from HuffPost about what effect the now-president’s words had.

“I can’t say whether his rhetoric impacted the case or not,” McAllister, a Trump nominee, said. He later added that this case wasn’t about the rhetoric the defendants used, but about the bomb plot they agreed to participate in.

He is their hero. As far as I know he has not denounced them.

For all we know, he'll pardon them along with Cohen, Jared and Mike Tyson.