The MAGA couple who took black paint to a Black Lives Matter street mural in the East Bay has pleaded not guilty, blaming George Soros for their legal predicament because of course they did.

Of the many appalling incidents that have occurred in our summer of hate crimes, one of them stands out as mildly amusing, mainly because the MAGA culprits ran out of paint and then had to flee the scene before successfully completing their intended task. We refer to the Martinez couple who attempted to paint over a Black Lives Matter mural on July 4, just hours after volunteers had completed the fully permitted street mural. (And things did take a decidedly not-amusing turn the following day, as there was a second dude who allegedly pulled a gun on one of the people repainting the mural after he screamed "All lives matter!" at them.) You may remember the fellow in the MAGA hat and “Four More Years” t-shirt, who uttered such gems as “There is no racism, it’s a leftist lie,” and “All lives matter, you fuckin’ punk!” has since been identified as 53-year-old David Nelson. His partner in alleged hate crime, the woman who actually did all the work while Nelson stood there running his mouth, is 42-year-old Nichole Anderson, also of Martinez.

The Contra Costa County district attorney charged the pair with a hate crime a few days later, along with charges of vandalism and possession of tools to commit vandalism. But the couple has lawyered up with an attorney whose main racket these days is defending restaurants who violate shelter-in-place and mask laws, and the two are pleading not guilty to all counts, according to KPIX.

“The charges here frankly are outrageous that a highly politicized DA who’s funded by George Soros would categorize anyone who disagrees with the radical Black Lives Matter organization as hateful or racist,” their attorney Bilal Essayli told KPIX. “It’s an overcharge in our view, it’s a political message and the justice system should not be weaponized in that manner.”

Wait, did he just drag George Soros into all this? He did, and there is a very slim connection here. The Hungarian-born Soros is an investor, philanthropist, and catch-all bogeyman for every anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on both the right and the left. Soros made a contribution to something called the California Justice & Public Safety Political Action Committee. In 2018, and that PAC contributed nearly $50,000 to the campaign of Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, among a handful of other DA candidates statewide according to the Chronicle. Becton won her race, and she’s the one bringing these hate crime charges. But this shows us how blaming George Soros may be the modern-day Twinkie defense for MAGA hooligans charged with hate crimes.

District Attorney Becton, who also happens to be the first African American woman to be elected to that office in the history of Contra Costa County, said in a statement when filing the charges that “The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country. We must continue to elevate discussions and actually listen to one another in an effort to heal our community and country.”

You will not be shocked to learn that Becton has been receiving death threats since filing the charges, according to the San Jose Mercury News, and the the MAGA couple were invited onto Tucker Carlson, who commended them for their “bravery” and said “Man, you’ve got a lot of brass.” They may need it, because if found guilty, they could face up to a year in jail.

Related: Calling Racism a 'Leftist Lie,' Two Trump Supporters Attempt to Paint Over BLM Mural In Martinez [SFist]

Screenshot via Youtube