Meet the Hollywood extra who stormed the Capitol and ended up on the FBI wanted list

Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from “Sedition Hunters: How January 6th Broke the Justice System,” a forthcoming book by NBC News justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly. The book, which will be published by Public Affairs on Oct. 17, tells the inside story of the online sleuths driving the FBI’s sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police seemed to be everywhere on Jan. 6. He was on the inauguration platform, taking hits from the mob, and in the tunnel, taking hits there too, where a rioter yelled, “You’re gonna die tonight” and kicked a police shield.

“I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die,’” Gonell would later testify.

Around 11:00 p.m., the Dominican Republic immigrant and Iraq War veteran headed back to the tunnel, in search of an ID belonging to a dead rioter that police had tried, unsuccessfully, to revive.

In a few hours, the crew in charge of the inauguration scaffolding platform would come by to check the damage and find a “complete disaster.” There were trash and weapons everywhere, along with hats, personal items and several lone shoes. Men were using leaf blowers to help clean up, but that was recirculating the tear gas, causing workers to cough. “You can just see this place was a war zone last night,” said Steve Ott of Scaffolding Solutions, as his team assessed the state of the inauguration platform. “Unbelievable.”

Gonell snapped several photos of the scene that night. In the small space between the double set of golden doors of the tunnel — where Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed by a riot shield held by a rioter with long hair and transition lenses as Hodges screamed out in pain — Gonell snapped a photo of a bunch of debris on the ground: water bottles, broken sticks, a cord, a mini bullhorn, and a crumpled-up red-and-white scarf.

In 2017, the town of Skellefteå, Sweden, mailed out 934 of those scarves as Christmas gifts to people who had moved away from the region. One of them had ended up in the Capitol tunnel. A man whom the online “Sedition Hunters” would dub #SwedishScarf had dropped it.

Barricading Senate offices

Through the shattered window, inside room ST2M of the U.S. Capitol, rioters had overturned a table and barricaded a door with a blue couch. The mob had taken over a suite of Senate “hideaway” offices, private spaces where senators can relax and refresh themselves during marathon voting sessions.

In a town where government workers, contractors, politicians and journalists alike sometimes boost their status with a bit of unnecessary mystery, Capitol “hideaway” offices are an alluring tale. For decades, the press has written fun features about the existence of the offices, titillating readers about being let in on the secret lives of the country’s most powerful people.

In the QAnon and Pizzagate era, when delusional Americans believed that a pizza shop had a basement full of sex-trafficked children groomed for elite pedophiles, and with election deniers sharing maps of the tunnels that connect the Capitol to the surrounding office buildings, the playful coverage of these “undisclosed locations” suddenly seemed a lot less cute.

Inside the hideaway office suite, a man with a pink respirator and an American-themed hat held a broken table leg.

“I need to know right now who’s following me. Who’s with me?” said the man who came to be known as #SwedishScarf, who had taken on a leadership role. He’d already lost the rare, red garment in a Capitol tunnel, but had done a few wardrobe changes, including wearing an America-themed scarf and wearing a Trump flag as cape. Earlier, as several rioters who helped lead the mob charging the police line, he wore a stolen police helmet.

Now, inside the Capitol office suite, as another rioter yelled out, “We need more bodies in here!” and lured people in through the window, #SwedishScarf wanted music. He suggested “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Trump, who inherited the equivalent of at least $413 million from his father, had unironically placed the song in regular rotation on his campaign playlist, but #SwedishScarf had a suggested adaptation. “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t Joe Biden’s son,” he sang.

#SwedishScarf made preparations for the push. Danny Rodriguez, a MAGA fanatic from California who went to Washington predicting a bloody revolution, stood up on a chair nearby to address the mob. “They have shot and killed a girl,” he said, referring to Ashli Babbitt. Some of the rioters left, but many didn’t seem fazed.

A woman in a pink hat and sunglasses poked through the broken window. Striking the tone of a chaperone leading a group of eighth graders on a tour of the Capitol, she laid down the law.

“People should probably coordinate together if you’re going to take this building,” she said. “We’re in, we’ve got another window to break to make in-and-out easy, and this window here in the other room needs to be broken.”

People started handing things out the window — a tabletop, furniture legs — that were used as weapons against officers in the nearby tunnel. The rioters inside the conference room grabbed a table and moved it into the hallway to protect themselves in case the cops on the other side busted through the door. They broke the conference room door off its hinges, and someone handed it out the window. Then they started trying to break into a locked room ahead.

Paul Belosic, former actor and participant in the January 6 riots, at the capitol on January 6, 2021 (L) and in the music video for

From Rage Against the Machine to MAGA

“You are not going to take away our Trumpy bear!” yelled Gina Bisignano, a Beverly Hills cosmetologist wearing a Louis Vuitton sweater and holding a bullhorn outside the broken window, as rioters flooded inside during the attack. “You are not going to take away our votes!”

“George Soros, you can go to hell!” she said.

Bisignano knew Rodriguez and Ed Badalian — another Jan. 6 rioter and Trump supporter who organized paintball training sessions after Trump’s election loss, in preparation for battle — from Trump events in the L.A. area. She said she briefly met the man known as #SwedishScarf at a prior rally too, and then they spotted each other during the Capitol attack. She knew him as “Jeff.” She thought he was cute.

Back in California, after the riot, “Jeff,” Rodriguez and Badalian had come over to her house where “Jeff” unplugged her Amazon Alexa devices and “indicated through miming” that Bisignano should not speak out loud.

“I want to help you delete everything and to transfer the files to a secure hard drive,” Jeff had written on one of Bisignano’s notepads.

Bisignano — who was featured on TMZ a month before the Capitol attack, and gave her full name and Instagram handle during the attack — was low-hanging fruit for the FBI. She was arrested not long after the attack, the day before Biden’s inauguration. Rodriguez, who drove a stun gun into the neck of MPD officer Michael Fanone, was identified with the help of online sleuths in February 2021, and arrested in March.

Months later, a federal grand jury would indict Rodriguez and Badalian, along with another defendant, whose name was redacted because he wasn’t in custody. But matching up the actions spelled out in the indictment with the actions sleuths had documented left no doubt: This was #SwedishScarf.

In the hunt for Capitol rioters, this was a rarity. The sleuths were driving the investigation, gathering the names of hundreds of Jan. 6 participants who had not yet been arrested. But here, the FBI knew something the sleuths did not: #SwedishScarf’s real name.

What sleuths did learn about #SwedishScarf’s background proved very intriguing. Facial recognition run by online sleuths and reviewed by NBC News revealed that #SwedishScarf appeared as a background actor in a number of music videos, including a video for LeAnn Rimes, the 2003 John Mayer song “Bigger Than My Body,” and “Bad Day,” the 2005 earworm by Canadian singer Daniel Powter. He also appeared in the 2011 film “The Artist.” When Justin Bieber made a cameo on the show “CSI,” #SwedishScarf popped up in the background.

Bisignano later revealed to me that she had a romantic interest in Jeff and that they’d kissed when he came back over to her place for a second time after Jan. 6, this time without Rodriguez and Badalian. “Jeff” arrived on a skateboard, Bisignano said, and used the callbox downstairs to get buzzed in. “Jeff” told her that he didn’t have a phone, that he was off the grid. “I thought it was very inconvenient to date somebody without a telephone,” she said.

In early 2023, Bisignano testified in Badalian’s trial as part of her plea agreement, although her testimony wasn’t very beneficial to the government. After the trial, Badalian told me that an FBI agent had mentioned (mistakenly, he thought) #SwedishScarf’s real name during his testimony. His ears had perked up, he said, because he heard it as something like “Paul Pelosi,” as in the name of the 82-year-old husband of Nancy Pelosi, the woman he’d wanted arrested on Jan. 6. Paul Pelosi’s name had been in the news: a few months before Badalian’s trial, a 2020 election conspiracy theorist named David DePage broke into Pelosi’s home, took Paul Pelosi hostage, and then attacked him with a hammer when the police showed up.

The sleuths got to work, trying any variation of the name they could find. Polacek, Pelishek, Palosik, Paloczyk, Palosyk, Paloczek, Peloshek, Paloshek, Palocsik, Poloczek, Pulisić, Pulisich, Paulisic, Pulišić, Paulisick, Pulizic, Paulissich, Poulisis, Pulicich, Palasik, Palochik.

Nothing. Soon, there was a breakthrough. A Swedish filmmaker I’d spoken with was working on a documentary about #SwedishScarf, and he’d updated the credits on the film’s IMDB page. The credits identified #SwedishScarf as Paul Belosic, listing him in the role of “self” in the forthcoming movie “The Swedish Scarf.” Belosic’s full category of roles as a background actor wasn’t listed on his IMDB page, but it noted he’d worked as a production assistant in a 2003 TV movie called “Maximum Thrust” and played the role of a “clean-cut” airman in a 2004 short called “Radius,” which only seemed to be available on DVD.

Soon I was on the phone with Bianca Nasca, a love and sex coach from Hollywood. Back in 2021, she’d identified Belosic in a tweet that most sleuths had missed. She filled me in on how she’d known Belosic since middle school, how they’d roomed together as young adults, and how they’d done some extra work in Hollywood together too. They’d filmed some beer commercial — she couldn’t recall whether it was Budweiser or Miller Lite — and a Rob Zombie music video too, she thought.

She said Belosic was adaptable and known for his ability to get access to big events. “He basically could get in anywhere: Oscar parties, the Vanity Fair party, you name it. Paul didn’t need an invite, he didn’t need a wristband, he just got in,” Nasca said.

Nasca said she was a “backseat Democrat” until Trump, when she felt like she needed to start paying attention. She’d known Belosic as a libertarian, as someone who liked the idea of being away from it all. He talked about building an Earthship, an “off-the-grid-ready” home designed to resist extreme temperatures. She said she tried to convince him not to vote for Trump in 2020, to no avail. When she realized he was going to vote for Trump that year, “I couldn’t even hear him out,” Nasca said. She cut off the conversation, and then they didn’t talk again for a bit, until the start of 2021.

“I think he wished me a happy New Year, like, five days before the insurrection,” Nasca said. “That was it. I haven’t heard from him ever since then.”

Nasca had spoken with the FBI repeatedly, spoke with another reporter based in Los Angeles and had filmed scenes for Mattias Löw, the Swedish filmmaker working on the Swedish Scarf documentary. FBI special agents, Löw told me, had even flown out from Los Angeles to meet him at the airport when he’d flown into New York, questioning him about any contacts he’d had with Belosic. For now, #SwedishScarf was still on the run.

Something caught my eye as I looked into Belosic’s background: He’d been at a protest concert the band Rage Against the Machine held across the street from the 2000 Democratic National Convention. After the concert, police said, masked individuals began throwing items at police, who cut off the power and then responded with force.

“They came in with tear gas, they came in with rubber bullets, shooting at us,” Belosic told one reporter. “There was nowhere to go here. Everything was blocked off. It was chaos.”

He told the Village Voice he’d been struck in the back with a police baton after he and several others were cornered by law enforcement under a freeway overpass. “We had a right to be here,” said Belosic, then 26. “Instead, it was chaos.”

If you pulled it all together, it was grist for a conspiracy theory: a Hollywood actor, previously part of a group of black-clad protesters that battled police at a concert for a leftist band, had — 20 years later — allegedly helped incite the mob on Jan. 6, leading Trump supporters into battle. That he was indicted by a federal grand jury would do little to dissuade those who believed the FBI to be master manipulators. Why hasn’t he been arrested? they’d ask. Why is the FBI hiding his name?

The sleuths wished that the FBI would just rip the Band-Aid off and publicly name Belosic, with one saying it was “somewhat baffling” that they wouldn’t just name someone who’d already been charged, and who, prosecutors had stated in court, was believed to have fled the country. There didn’t seem to be much reason to keep it secret: Belosic clearly knew he was wanted, and throwing some publicity at the case might help the bureau determine his whereabouts. Plus, publicly stating that the FBI was on the case would help take the wind out of the sails of at least one lingering potential future conspiracy. They didn’t need another Ray Epps.

The FBI referred a request for comment to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined to comment citing “ongoing matters.”

Editor’s note: Paul Belosic was added to the FBI Wanted List in September 2023 after prosecutors moved to have his name unsealed on the court docket. The FBI noted he was also known as “Jeff” and “Thomas Redding,” a stage name he sometimes used, and that he “has ties to, or may visit, Southern California, Mexico and Southern Europe.” Belosic faces charges of conspiracy; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; tampering with documents or proceedings; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; theft of government property; destruction of government property; and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

Adapted from “Sedition Hunters: How January 6th Broke the Justice System by Ryan J. Reilly. Copyright © 2023. Available from PublicAffairs, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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Zelensky menghadapi Partai Republik yang lebih terpecah saat ia kembali ke Capitol Hill untuk mencari bantuan

Presiden Ukraina Volodymyr Zelenksy akan kembali ke Capitol Hill pada hari Kamis untuk kunjungan keduanya sejak negaranya dikepung oleh Rusia. Hanya saja kali ini, lanskap politik telah berubah.

Setahun yang lalu, Zelensky menghadapi sambutan yang jauh berbeda di Kongres. Partai Demokrat menguasai DPR dan dukungan publik untuk mendanai upaya perang di Ukraina lebih tinggi. Saat ia berdiri untuk meminta lebih banyak uang dan senjata sebelum pertemuan gabungan Kongres, Zelensky disambut oleh anggota DPR yang penuh sesak, para anggotanya mengenakan pakaian berwarna kuning dan biru yang berdiri untuk mendukung Ukraina. Kini, presiden Ukraina akan kembali ke Kongres dengan ketua baru – menghadapi pemberontakan dari sayap kanan – yang belum menjanjikan bantuan di masa depan ke Ukraina dan harus menyeimbangkan masa depan politiknya dengan masa depan yang diharapkan Zelensky untuk negaranya.

“Apakah Zelensky terpilih menjadi anggota Kongres? Apakah dia presiden kita? Saya kira tidak demikian. Saya punya pertanyaan, di mana pertanggungjawaban atas uang yang telah kami keluarkan? Apa rencana kemenangannya?” Ketua DPR Kevin McCarthy bertanya pada hari Selasa.

Minggu ini saja, sayap kanan McCarthy secara terbuka mengejek anggotanya karena mendukung Ukraina. Anggota Partai Republik Matt Gaetz dari Florida memposting foto McCarthy dengan pin Ukraina dan kotak saku berwarna kuning dan biru, dengan tulisan, “Bagaimana perasaan Anda?”

Perwakilan Partai Republik Marjorie Taylor Greene dari Georgia memposting adegan Lord Farquaad memanggil pasukannya untuk berperang dari film animasi “Shrek,” men-tweet, “Panglima perang Washington berbicara kepada rakyat Amerika tentang Ukraina.”

Presiden Joe Biden juga akan menyambut Zelensky di Gedung Putih pada hari Rabu. Biden berusaha mendengarkan “perspektif medan perang” dari Zelensky menjelang musim gugur perang kedua yang semakin dekat, kata koordinator komunikasi strategis Dewan Keamanan Nasional John Kirby kepada wartawan.

Biden diperkirakan akan berbicara dengan Zelensky mengenai kebutuhan medan perang, kata Kirby, namun hal ini terjadi di tengah laporan CNN bahwa ATACMS, Sistem Rudal Taktis Angkatan Darat jarak jauh, mungkin bukan bagian dari paket senjata baru, sesuatu yang disarankan Zelensky kepada Wolf Blitzer dari CNN. menjadi kekecewaan. ATACMS “tidak lepas dari perhatian,” kata Kirby.

Zelensky tiba di tengah perlawanan terhadap penutupan pemerintahan

Kunjungan Zelensky terjadi ketika anggota DPR dari Partai Republik sedang terlibat dalam pertikaian sengit mengenai pendanaan pemerintah di bidang domestik dan karena prospek mendapatkan lebih banyak uang untuk Ukraina – meski masih sangat aktif di Senat – masih kurang jelas di DPR bahkan ketika pemerintahan Biden seperti yang dikirimkan atas permintaan dukungan sebesar $24 miliar.

“Hal pertama yang akan saya sampaikan kepada Anda adalah saat ini tidak ada dana di DPR untuk Ukraina,” kata anggota Partai Republik Byron Donalds, anggota konservatif Kaukus Kebebasan DPR dari Florida, kepada CNN. “Sejujurnya, ini bukan saat yang tepat baginya untuk berada di sini. Itulah kenyataannya.”

Perwakilan Texas Chip Roy, seorang konservatif lainnya, mengatakan kepada CNN, “Kapan terakhir kali Zelensky datang ke sini? Tepat sebelum uang. Menurutmu itu suatu kebetulan? Saya tidak. Itu sebabnya pertandingan melawan Ukraina ini harus dihentikan.”

Zelensky akan bertemu pada hari Kamis dengan para pemimpin di Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat AS termasuk McCarthy, namun juru bicaranya mengatakan bahwa tidak ada pertemuan tatap muka yang direncanakan dan Zelensky juga tidak akan memiliki kesempatan untuk bertemu dengan konferensi Partai Republik di mana ia dapat berbicara langsung dengan para anggota. menentang pendanaan upaya perangnya.

“Saya pikir semakin banyak orang yang dapat mendengar langsung darinya, semakin besar dampak yang akan ditimbulkannya,” kata Ketua Urusan Luar Negeri DPR Michael McCaul, seorang anggota Partai Republik dari Texas, kepada CNN.

Kirby mengatakan ada “kebutuhan penting” bagi Kongres untuk mengabulkan permintaan dana tambahan sebesar $24 miliar dari Gedung Putih bagi Ukraina untuk kemampuan serangan balasannya, dan mengatakan bahwa bantuan tersebut “akan mempunyai dampak yang signifikan terhadap perjuangan Ukraina.”

Sebaliknya, Pemimpin Mayoritas Chuck Schumer dan Pemimpin Minoritas Mitch McConnell akan mengadakan pertemuan bersama dengan anggotanya di Senat.

Meskipun ada penurunan dukungan publik, masih ada dukungan bipartisan yang kuat untuk pendanaan Ukraina di Capitol Hill, tetapi McCarthy akan memutuskan apakah undang-undang tersebut akan diberlakukan. Ketua DPR mengatakan dia tidak ingin pendanaan dimasukkan ke dalam rancangan undang-undang belanja jangka pendek dan dia juga mengatakan hal itu harus menjadi masalah yang berdiri sendiri. Namun waktu adalah hal yang sangat penting, dan para staf yang dekat dengan masalah tersebut mengatakan kepada CNN bahwa perkiraan dana AS untuk Ukraina saat ini akan segera habis pada akhir tahun ini.

“Hal ini menjadi isu yang berulang kali, dari menit ke menit, setiap pertanyaannya adalah: Apakah Ketua McCarthy akan melakukan hal yang bertanggung jawab dengan mengajukan rancangan undang-undang yang kita tahu akan disahkan dengan dukungan bipartisan yang luas?” Kata Rep Demokrat Abigail Spanberger dari Virginia. “Jika dia terus-menerus hidup dalam ketakutan bahwa salah satu anggota sayap kanan akan mengambil tindakan untuk mengosongkan kursi, sehingga mencopotnya dari jabatan ketua, maka kita membuat keputusan sehari-hari atau tidak mengambil keputusan sehari-hari. keputusan hari ini karena seseorang ingin mempertahankan pekerjaannya. “

Pergeseran dukungan publik membuat pendanaan Ukraina berisiko

Dalam konferensi McCarthy, pertanyaan tentang membantu Ukraina dibingkai oleh para isolasionis sebagai sebuah pilihan antara membantu Amerika atau membantu Ukraina.

“Saya pikir setiap orang di Kongres ini, baik dari Partai Demokrat, Republik, atau di antaranya terkejut, terkejut, dan tidak setuju dengan apa yang telah dan sedang dilakukan oleh Rusia dan Vladimir Putin. Meski begitu, perbatasan kita terbuka lebar. Rakyat kita tidak mampu membayar tagihan listrik, gas, dan makanan mereka, dan sebelum kita mengirim cek kosong ke negara lain, kita perlu mengurus rakyat kita sendiri,” kata anggota DPR Scott Perry, seorang anggota Partai Republik konservatif dari Pennsylvania.

Sebuah jajak pendapat CNN pada bulan Agustus menemukan bahwa mayoritas warga Amerika menentang otorisasi lebih banyak pendanaan untuk Ukraina, dan di kalangan Partai Republik, jumlah yang menentang melonjak hingga 71%. Ini adalah kenyataan yang tercermin dalam cara anggota Partai Republik – bahkan mereka yang tidak mengesampingkan pendanaan tambahan – berbicara tentang dukungan AS untuk Ukraina.

“Tahukah Anda siapa yang memenangkan perang di Ukraina saat ini? Saya kira rata-rata anggota Kongres tidak memahami apa yang terjadi di Ukraina,” kata anggota Partai Republik Mike Garcia, seorang anggota Partai Republik dari California. “Saya kira lembaga eksekutif tidak tahu apa yang sedang terjadi di Ukraina saat ini. Begini, kita telah menginvestasikan $100 miliar dolar pembayar pajak Amerika di Ukraina, kita berhutang kepada pembayar pajak Amerika untuk mendapatkan pertanggungjawaban atas uang tersebut, pertanggungjawaban senjata, untuk mendapatkan status terkini tentang apa yang terjadi di Ukraina… dan apa diperlukan untuk menang dan bagaimana kita akan terlibat di dalamnya sebelum kita berinvestasi.”

Anggota Partai Republik Garret Graves, seorang anggota Partai Republik dari Louisiana, menyalahkan pemerintah atas penurunan dukungan meskipun ia berpendapat bahwa hal itu masih penting.

“Hal yang bertanggung jawab secara fiskal untuk dilakukan di sini adalah menghentikan hal ini di Ukraina. Hal ini juga berlaku di negara-negara NATO dan Anda memicu pasal lima, Anda tidak akan berbicara tentang puluhan miliar dolar, Anda akan berbicara tentang triliunan dolar dan Anda akan berbicara tentang tentara Amerika. di garis depan. Itu bukanlah suatu pilihan,” kata Graves. “Pemerintahan ini mempunyai masalah akuntabilitas dan transparansi yang harus mereka atasi sebelum mereka berhak mendapatkan satu sen pun.”

Salah satu tantangan tersulit yang akan dihadapi Zelensky di Capitol Hill pada hari Kamis adalah mengakui mengapa ia membutuhkan bantuan AS, mengapa sejauh ini bantuan tersebut belum cukup, dan berapa lama menurutnya ia akan benar-benar mengandalkan dukungan tersebut sebagai kelelahan publik atas krisis yang terjadi. upaya perang tampak.

Masih terdapat koalisi kuat yang terdiri dari dukungan Partai Republik terhadap pendanaan Ukraina di Capitol Hill, seperti McConnell, namun Partai Republik terkadang bersikap kritis terhadap bagaimana presiden terlibat dalam perang dan bagaimana ia menjual bantuan AS. Para anggota parlemen Partai Republik tersebut berpendapat bahwa Biden dapat berbuat lebih banyak untuk menunjukkan pentingnya upaya perang kepada publik dan untuk memastikan anggota Kongres tetap mengetahui di mana dan apa dampak pendanaan yang mereka alokasikan.

“Konsekuensi dari penghentian Ukraina sangat besar,” kata Senator Partai Republik Lindsey Graham dari Carolina Selatan. “Ini akan menyebabkan lebih banyak perang, bukan malah menguranginya. Hal ini akan menghancurkan tatanan dunia yang telah ada dan memberikan manfaat bagi dunia. Jadi saya sangat tidak setuju dengan rekan-rekan saya yang mengatakan Ukraina tidak penting bagi kami. Itu sangat penting.”

Betsy Klein dari CNN, Morgan Rimmer dan Haley Talbot berkontribusi pada laporan ini.

Untuk berita dan buletin CNN lainnya, buat akun di

Pengguna forum ‘Donald’ mendapat hukuman lebih dari 6 tahun penjara karena melawan petugas di kerusuhan Capitol

WASHINGTON — Seorang pendukung Trump yang terlibat perkelahian dengan aparat penegak hukum di Capitol pada 6 Januari dan kemudian membual tentang perilakunya di forum pro-Trump “The Donald”, pada Rabu dijatuhi hukuman 6½ tahun penjara federal.

Jose Padilla dijatuhi hukuman 78 bulan oleh Hakim Distrik AS John Bates, yang memvonis Padilla, 43, seorang veteran Angkatan Darat yang cacat, atas 10 dakwaan pada sidang pengadilan pada bulan Mei.

Jaksa federal menuntut hukuman penjara lebih dari 14 tahun, yang merupakan salah satu dari 10 hukuman terlama yang dijatuhkan kepada perusuh pada 6 Januari.

Padilla akan mendapat penghargaan atas waktu menjalani tahanan praperadilan. Dia ditangkap pada awal tahun 2021.

“Pada tanggal 6 Januari, Padilla secara aktif berperang melawan Amerika Serikat yang sebelumnya ia bersumpah untuk melindunginya, dan berjuang untuk melemahkan Konstitusi yang sebelumnya ia bersumpah untuk membelanya,” tulis jaksa dalam memo hukumannya, menunjuk pada latar belakang militer Padilla.

Dalam memo tersebut, jaksa mengatakan bahwa Padilla membual secara online bahwa dia “ingin menggulingkan demokrasi Amerika, melanggar sumpahnya untuk membela Konstitusi,” dan bahwa dia “menghabiskan tiga jam di Front Barat. [of the Capitol] menerobos garis polisi, mengumpulkan perusuh lain untuk bergabung dengannya, dan tanpa henti mencaci-maki polisi.” Mereka juga mengatakan bahwa dia berbohong di bawah sumpah tentang alasannya melemparkan tiang bendera ke kepala seorang petugas.

Jose Padilla di Capitol pada 6 Januari 2021. (Pengadilan Distrik AS Washington)

Jose Padilla di Capitol pada 6 Januari 2021. (Pengadilan Distrik AS Washington)

Video pada 6 Januari menunjukkan Padilla mencoba menggalang dukungan dari para perusuh lainnya, dan menyebut mereka yang tidak menentang garis polisi sebagai “pengecut.” Dia kemudian mengeluh secara online tentang peserta 6 Januari lainnya, dengan mengatakan bahwa mereka adalah “LARPers kecil yang menyedihkan” – pemain peran aksi langsung – yang “hanya berpura-pura” menjadi patriot.

Banyak komentar online Padilla dibuat di forum “The Donald”, yang sering menampilkan retorika kekerasan tentang orang-orang yang dianggap sebagai musuh mantan Presiden Donald Trump.

“Kami sebenarnya berusaha merebut kembali Republik kami dan menyerang Pusat Kekuasaan,” kata Padilla. “Kami berusaha memulihkan Republik dengan membubarkan badan legislatif dan mengadakan konvensi konstitusional rakyat.”

Asisten Jaksa AS Douglas Brasher berpendapat pada hari Rabu bahwa Padilla “tidak hanya ditonton pada tanggal 6 Januari [as] penting, namun sebagai permulaan.” Tanggung jawab pribadi “adalah landasan masyarakat yang adil,” dan Padilla tidak menunjukkan hal itu, kata Brasher.

Pengacara pembela Padilla, Michael Cronkright, mengatakan kliennya “agak penyendiri” sampai dia “dengan bodohnya” berhubungan dengan orang-orang yang berpikiran sama secara online terkait pemilu 2020.

Cronkright pada hari Rabu mengangkat situasi keluarga Padilla, seperti yang dilakukan Padilla sendiri, menunjukkan bahwa keluarganya berada dalam kemiskinan yang parah dan bahwa penahanannya yang terus menerus akan menimbulkan masalah yang signifikan bagi keluarga tersebut.

“Ini akan menjadi kesulitan yang lebih besar bagi keluarganya dibandingkan bagi dirinya,” kata Cronkright.

Pembela mengutip situasi keluarga Padilla yang meminta kurungan rumah secara “substansial”, selain masa hukuman yang telah dijalani.

Jose Padilla di Capitol pada 6 Januari 2021. (Pengadilan Distrik AS Washington)

Jose Padilla di Capitol pada 6 Januari 2021. (Pengadilan Distrik AS Washington)

Padilla, berdiri di hadapan Bates, sang hakim, memberikan permintaan maaf yang emosional sebelum menjatuhkan hukuman.

“Saya ingin meminta maaf kepada petugas,” katanya. “Tindakan saya hari itu tidak sesuai dengan karakter saya.”

Padilla mengatakan dia “menyesali” segala kerugian yang ditimbulkannya. “Saya hanya bisa meminta maaf kepada Anda,” katanya.

Padilla melanjutkan dengan mengatakan bahwa selama beberapa bulan setelah 6 Januari, dia tidak lagi merasa menyesal seperti sekarang, merujuk pada postingan media sosial yang menyerukan kekerasan. “Penyesalan jarang terjadi secara langsung, Pak,” katanya kepada Bates.

Bates menyebut pernyataan Padilla sebagai “ekspresi tulus” penyesalan. “Tetapi ini sudah sangat terlambat,” katanya sebelum memberikan hukuman yang jauh di bawah kisaran pedoman.

Artikel ini awalnya diterbitkan di

Mitch McConnell tidak mengalami stroke atau kejang saat membeku di depan kamera, kata dokter Capitol Hill


Dokter yang merawat Capitol, Brian Monahan, mengatakan dalam sebuah surat baru bahwa Pemimpin Senat Partai Republik Mitch McConnell tidak menderita stroke atau kejang – dan tidak menderita penyakit Parkinson – setelah Kentuckian yang berusia 81 tahun dievaluasi oleh sekelompok ahli saraf. menyusul dua kekhawatiran kesehatan baru-baru ini di depan kamera TV.

Surat baru tersebut, yang dikeluarkan oleh kantor McConnell pada hari Selasa, muncul setelah dia terdiam di depan kamera untuk kedua kalinya dalam beberapa bulan, menimbulkan pertanyaan tentang apakah pemimpin Partai Republik dapat terus mempertahankan posisinya yang kuat di puncak Konferensi Partai Republik di Senat. Setelah dia membeku minggu lalu di Covington, Kentucky, McConnell dievaluasi oleh empat ahli saraf, menurut seseorang yang mengetahui masalah tersebut.

Monahan mengatakan dalam suratnya pada hari Selasa bahwa dia berkonsultasi dengan ahli saraf McConnell dan melakukan beberapa evaluasi, termasuk pencitraan MRI otak dan tes yang mengukur pencitraan listrik di otak.

“Tidak ada bukti bahwa Anda menderita gangguan kejang atau mengalami stroke, TIA, atau gangguan pergerakan seperti penyakit Parkinson,” isi surat itu.

McConnell secara sepintas merujuk pada episode membekukannya, dengan mengatakan bahwa “suatu momen tertentu saat saya kembali ke rumah telah mendapat banyak perhatian dan pers selama seminggu terakhir.”

“Tetapi saya yakinkan Anda, bulan Agustus adalah bulan yang sibuk dan produktif bagi saya dan staf saya di Persemakmuran,” katanya saat memberikan sambutan pada hari Selasa. McConnell merinci acara yang dia hadiri selama istirahat, berhenti sejenak untuk mengambil air minum.

Anggota tim kepemimpinan Partai Republik di Senat menepis kekhawatiran atas kesehatan McConnell saat mereka menghadiri pertemuan mingguan pada Selasa malam.

McConnell diperkirakan akan membahas kesehatannya selama pertemuan konferensi tertutup dengan senator Partai Republik pada hari Rabu, kata Senator Texas John Cornyn kepada CNN.

00:46 – Sumber: WLWT

McConnell tampak membeku saat berbicara dengan wartawan

“Saya pikir dia mengerti,” kata Cornyn tentang McConnell yang berpidato di konferensi saat makan siang pada hari Rabu. “Dia paham, menurut saya transparansi adalah temannya dan menurut saya menghilangkan banyak spekulasi.

Ketika ditanya oleh CNN apakah dia mendukung McConnell untuk tetap menjadi pemimpin di Kongres berikutnya, anggota Partai Republik di Senat John Thune berkata: “Saya bahkan tidak ingin mulai berspekulasi tentang hal itu. Namun dia mendapat dukungan penuh dari saya dan dia akan mendapat dukungan dari konferensi tersebut.” Masih belum jelas mengapa McConnell membeku selama sekitar 30 detik setiap kali melakukan tindakan tersebut.

Kantor pemimpin Partai Republik telah mengaitkan dua momen yang terhenti itu dengan “sakit kepala ringan,” dan Monahan telah mengindikasikan dalam surat sebelumnya bahwa “bukan hal yang aneh” bagi korban gegar otak untuk merasa pusing. McConnell menderita gegar otak dan patah tulang rusuk setelah terjatuh di sebuah hotel di Washington dan kepalanya terbentur pada bulan Maret, membuatnya absen dari Senat selama hampir enam minggu.

Catatan tersebut muncul ketika Senat kembali bersidang pada hari Selasa setelah reses selama lima minggu dan ketika para senator Partai Republik diperkirakan akan menghadapi pertanyaan tentang apakah mereka yakin pemimpin Partai Republik tersebut dapat terus memimpin konferensinya seperti yang telah ia lakukan selama 16 tahun terakhir – lebih lama dari partai mana pun. pemimpin dalam sejarah Senat. McConnell diperkirakan akan terus menjabat sebagai pemimpin di Kongres ini, tetapi ada pertanyaan yang berkembang tentang apakah dia akan terus menjabat di Kongres berikutnya, yang dimulai pada tahun 2025.

01:07 – Sumber: CNN

McConnell membeku selama konferensi pers Juli 2023

Senator Partai Republik Susan Collins mengatakan dia berbicara dengan McConnell sehari setelah insiden pembekuan baru-baru ini dan merasa bahwa McConnell “sepenuhnya siap” untuk menangani pekerjaannya.

“Saya tidak melakukannya,” kata anggota Partai Republik Maine itu kepada CNN ketika ditanya apakah dia memiliki kekhawatiran tentang kesehatan McConnell. “Saya berbicara dengan Pemimpin McConnell sehari setelah kejadian itu. Dia terdengar baik-baik saja. Kami berbicara tentang dimulainya kembali bisnis minggu ini dan saya merasa dia sepenuhnya siap dan mampu menjalankan tugasnya.”

Senator Partai Republik Mitt Romney dari Utah mengatakan bahkan jika McConnell memiliki waktu “checkout” 20 detik sehari, dia masih melakukan “pekerjaan yang sangat bagus” di sisa waktunya.

“Kenyataannya adalah kita mungkin mengira Mitch McConnell akan melakukan checkout selama 20 detik sehari, namun 86.380 detik lainnya dalam sehari, dia melakukan pekerjaannya dengan sangat baik,” katanya.

Namun tidak semua senator Partai Republik puas dengan penjelasan McConnell. Senator Partai Republik dari Kentucky, Rand Paul, menyebut diagnosis dehidrasi sebagai “penjelasan yang tidak memadai” dan mengatakan bahwa pengalaman medisnya selama 25 tahun memberi tahu dia bahwa “kelihatannya tidak seperti dehidrasi.”

Cerita dan judul ini telah diperbarui dengan perkembangan tambahan.

Mantan pemimpin Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio dipenjara selama 22 tahun karena kerusuhan Capitol

Mantan pemimpin Proud Boys telah dipenjara selama 22 tahun, hukuman terlama yang dijatuhkan kepada siapa pun yang terlibat dalam kerusuhan Capitol AS.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio dihukum karena konspirasi hasutan, tuduhan era Perang Saudara AS, dan tuduhan lainnya pada bulan Mei.

Tarrio, 39, tidak berada di Washington selama kerusuhan, namun pengadilan mendengar bahwa dia membantu mengatur keterlibatan kelompok sayap kanan.

Jaksa sempat meminta hukuman 33 tahun penjara.

Sebelum mengetahui nasibnya pada Selasa, Tarrio meminta maaf kepada polisi dan warga Washington DC atas perannya dalam kerusuhan 6 Januari 2021.

“Saya sangat malu dan kecewa karena mereka menimbulkan kesedihan dan penderitaan,” katanya di gedung pengadilan federal Washington. “Saya harus hidup dengan rasa malu itu selama sisa hidup saya.”

Tarrio, yang mengenakan seragam penjara berwarna oranye, juga berkata: “Saya adalah musuh terburuk bagi diri saya sendiri.

“Keangkuhan saya meyakinkan saya bahwa saya adalah korban dan dijadikan sasaran secara tidak adil.”

Pengacaranya berpendapat bahwa Tarrio adalah seorang “ninja keyboard” yang cenderung “berbicara sampah” tetapi tidak berniat menggulingkan pemerintah.

“Klien saya bukan teroris,” kata pengacaranya, Sabino Jauregui. “Klien saya adalah seorang patriot yang salah arah.”

Namun Hakim Distrik AS Timothy Kelly, yang merupakan calon Trump, mencatat bahwa Tarrio dalam banyak kesempatan sebelumnya tidak menyatakan penyesalan atas tindakannya.

Setelah pemilu tahun 2020, Tarrio dan Proud Boys lainnya mengunggah pesan-pesan ancaman secara online, memperingatkan akan adanya kekerasan dan kerusuhan jika Presiden AS saat itu Donald Trump meninggalkan jabatannya.

Bulan itu, Tarrio membalas unggahan online yang kini menjabat Presiden Joe Biden, dengan menulis: “ANDA harus ingat bahwa rakyat Amerika sedang berperang dengan ANDA. Tidak ada Trump… Tidak ada perdamaian. Tidak ada seperempat.”

Selama kerusuhan Capitol AS, Tarrio memposting online: “Setelah saya selesai menonton ini saya akan membuat pernyataan tentang penangkapan saya… Tapi untuk saat ini saya menikmati pertunjukannya… Lakukan apa yang harus dilakukan”. Dia mendesak para perusuh untuk tidak pergi.

Pekan lalu, empat Proud Boys lainnya dijatuhi hukuman penjara karena peran mereka dalam kerusuhan Capitol.

Mantan Marinir AS Dominic Pezzola dan Zachary Rehl masing-masing menerima hukuman 10 dan 15 tahun penjara.

Joe Biggs, seorang veteran Angkatan Darat AS, dijatuhi hukuman 17 tahun penjara. Ethan Nordean diberi hukuman 18 tahun.

Berita terkini ini akan diperbarui dengan cepat. Segarkan halaman untuk pembaruan.

Bocah Bangga Dominic Pezzola yang menyerbu US Capitol dipenjara selama 10 tahun

Seorang Bocah Bangga yang memimpin kerusuhan Capitol AS dengan menerobos masuk ke dalam kompleks dengan perisai polisi sebelum dia memfilmkan dirinya sedang menghisap cerutu perayaan telah dijatuhi hukuman 10 tahun penjara.

Dominic Pezzola, mantan Marinir AS berusia 46 tahun, berkelahi dengan petugas saat penggerebekan di Kongres pada 6 Januari 2021.

Dia dihukum karena menyerang polisi dan menghalangi proses resmi.

Bocah Bangga lainnya, Ethan Nordean, menghadapi hukuman atas tuduhan konspirasi penghasutan yang lebih serius pada hari Jumat.

Video selfie yang diambil pada hari kerusuhan menunjukkan Pezzola sedang merokok apa yang dia gambarkan sebagai “cerutu kemenangan” di gedung Capitol.

Selama hukuman hari Jumat, Pezzola yang emosional menyatakan penyesalan atas tindakannya. Istri, anak perempuan dan ibunya semuanya berbicara kepada hakim, dan ibunya menggambarkan dia sebagai “anak yang luar biasa” yang “tidak pernah menyusahkan saya”.

Istri Pezzola mengatakan putrinya menjadi korban pelecehan dan perundungan di sekolah.

Namun begitu hukuman penjara dijatuhkan dan hakim meninggalkan ruangan, Pezzola berteriak: “Trump menang!”

The Proud Boys – yang dimulai sebagai “klub minum” tujuh tahun lalu – memandang diri mereka sebagai prajurit Donald Trump dan termasuk orang pertama yang berbaris di Capitol pada hari kerusuhan.

Pendukung Trump menyerbu garis polisi dan menyerbu gedung dalam upaya mencegah Kongres meratifikasi kemenangan pemilu Joe Biden.

Pezzola dan Nordean diadili bersama tiga anggota organisasi lainnya, termasuk mantan ketua Enrique Tarrio dan veteran militer AS Joe Biggs dan Zachary Rehl.

Pada hari Kamis, Biggs dan Rehl masing-masing dijatuhi hukuman 17 dan 15 tahun penjara.

Tarrio akan dijatuhi hukuman minggu depan. Dia menghadapi hukuman hingga 33 tahun penjara.

Dari lima orang tersebut, Pezzola adalah satu-satunya yang dibebaskan dari tuduhan konspirasi hasutan, sebuah tuduhan yang diterapkan kepada terdakwa karena berencana menggulingkan pemerintah atau menggunakan kekerasan “untuk mencegah, menghalangi, atau menunda pelaksanaan undang-undang Amerika Serikat”.

Namun, jaksa berpendapat bahwa kekerasan yang dilakukan Pezzola dalam kerusuhan tersebut memerlukan hukuman yang berat.

“Tindakan dan kesaksian Pezzola tidak diragukan lagi bahwa dia bermaksud mempengaruhi atau mempengaruhi jalannya pemerintahan dengan intimidasi atau paksaan,” tulis jaksa dalam memo hukumannya. “Dia melakukan kejahatan terorisme pada 6 Januari.”

Pada hari Jumat, Hakim Timothy Kelly mengatakan kepada Pezzola bahwa dia telah “memainkan peran penting” dalam kerusuhan Capitol, meskipun dia tidak memegang peran kepemimpinan di Proud Boys.

“Apa yang terjadi ini merupakan aib nasional,” kata Hakim Kelly.

Selama persidangan, Pezzola yang agresif berulang kali meremehkan tindakannya selama kerusuhan, dengan alasan bahwa massa tersebut “melanggar pengunjuk rasa” dan bukan “kekuatan penyerang”.

Dia juga mengatakan kepada juri bahwa tindakannya pada hari itu dijelaskan oleh kembalinya dia ke pelatihan militer ketika dia melihat polisi menggunakan amunisi tidak mematikan untuk mencoba membubarkan massa.

Joe Biggs dan Enrique Tarrio

Joe Biggs (kanan) bersama Enrique Tarrio pada rapat umum tahun 2019

“Di militer dan Korps Marinir, Anda tidak boleh berbalik dan lari,” kata Pezzola.

“Anda dikondisikan untuk tidak memikirkan respon penerbangan. Anda dikondisikan untuk berlari menuju bahaya.”

Proud Boy kedua yang akan dijatuhi hukuman pada hari Jumat, Ethan Nordean, dianggap sebagai pemimpin organisasi tersebut.

Selama persidangan, jaksa mengatakan dia membantu mengorganisir kelompok tersebut sebelum dan selama kerusuhan, termasuk dengan meminta sumbangan untuk peralatan komunikasi dan “alat pelindung”.

Lebih dari 1.100 orang telah ditangkap atas tuduhan terkait kerusuhan, menghasilkan 630 pengakuan bersalah dan lebih dari 110 hukuman.

Hukuman penjara terlama sejauh ini – 18 tahun – dijatuhkan kepada pendiri Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes pada bulan Mei.

Judge in Trump’s Jan. 6 case showed soft side in SC-related Capitol riot cases

The judge in former President Donald Trump’s capitol riot trial has been portrayed as a hard-liner in her sentences to Jan. 6 defendants.

But she has shown mercy to three Capitol riot defendants with South Carolina ties.

In 2022 and this year, U.S. Judge Tanya Chutkan gave sentences to South Carolinians Elias Irizarry and Elliot Bishai that were less than what prosecutors recommended. Chutkan also gave Irizarry’s and Bishai’s co-defendant, Grayson Sherrill, a North Carolina man who was with them on Jan. 6, a far lighter sentence than prosecutors had urged.

Chutkan’s merciful side contrasts with recent portrayals in stories and headlines in national newspapers describing her Jan. 6 sentences as consistently tough:

New York Times. “Judge in Trump Jan. 6 Trial is Known for Tough Capitol Riot Sentences.”

Wall Street Journal. “Judge Assigned to Trump Federal Case Has Been Tough on Jan. 6 Rioters.”

Washington Post. “Judge Tanya Chutkan is the toughest Jan. 6 sentencer. Next on her docket: Trump.”

Associated Press. “The judge assigned to Trump’s Jan. 6 case is a tough punisher of Capitol rioters.”

The Washington Post story, for example, noted that of 31 cases Chutkan has handled, she sentenced every defendant to prison or jail, exceeding prosecutors’ recommendations nine times and granting them 14 times.

None of the stories mentioned Chutkan’s lenient sentences in the two South Carolina cases or in the case involving their North Carolina co-defendant, all of whom traveled to Washington on Jan. 5, 2021, a day before the Capitol attack.

Joanne Slaight, a Washington, D.C., court-appointed attorney who represented Sherrill, said she had been surprised at the way Chutkan was portrayed in the media.

“She (Chutkan) doesn’t just sentence mechanically. She really looks at people and looks at individuals,” Slaight said. In Sherrill’s case, Chutkan “defied the stereotypes” and evaluated the case on its unique merits and gave him a much lower sentence than prosecutors wanted, Slaight said.

Chutkan’s statements to defendants in these cases also show that she is concerned with defendants’ actions, not their beliefs, and also that she regards the events of Jan. 6 as an extreme threat to democracy.

Here are those three cases:

Elias Irizarry, of York County, was 19 years old and a Citadel freshman at the time of the Capitol breach. Prosecutors had recommended a 45-day sentence after he pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor entering and remaining in a restricted area. Chutkan gave him a 14-day sentence.

According to evidence in the case, Irizarry attended President Trump’s Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and went to the Capitol, where he picked up a metal pole and entered the building through a broken window. He watched as other rioters beat police, heard flash-bangs, joined in chants and posed for photos while sitting on a Capitol statue.

Arguing for a probation sentence, Irizarry’s lawyer, federal public defender Eugene Ohm, told Chutkan in a pre-sentence memo that his client had just turned 19 when he went to the riot, was not an “election denier” and was truly remorseful. Ohm submitted numerous letters from high school teachers, college professors and others testifying to Irizarry’s character, history of community service, fine academic record and leadership traits.

After sentencing Irizarry, and learning about his life and observing him in court, Chutkan wrote a letter to The Citadel vouching for his good character, said Irizarry’s lawyer, public defender Eugene Ohm, last week.

A Citadel spokesman said last week that he could not comment on Irizarry’s current status because school has not yet started for the fall semester.

Elliot Bishai, of York County, 19 at the time of the riot, pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building. Prosecutors wanted 30 days incarceration; Chutkan gave him 14 days.

Evidence in Bishai’s case was roughly the same as in Irizarry’s, except Bishai was more active, encouraging other rioters, shouting things like “Civil War Two!” and “Go, come on, you got it!”

Bishai had been accepted to attend an elite U.S. Army program for training as a helicopter pilot. But his arrest and conviction in the Jan. 6 riot disqualified him from that, according to Bishai’s attorney, Don Brown.

Like Irizarry, Bishai submitted numerous letters testifying to his good character. After his arrest, Bishai began working with a group that fights wilderness forest fires, and in recognition of that “dangerous” job, Chutkan said she was not giving him any required community service hours.

Grayson Sherill, of Cherryville, 21 at the time of the riot, pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement. Prosecutors had wanted three years and five months. Chutkan gave him seven months.

During the riot, Sherill — who had gone with Bishai and Irizarry to the Capitol — violently struck an officer with a pole, breached the Capitol when “chaos was at an all-time high,” roamed the building for 34 minutes, banged on a door with his pole, joined a mob of rioters that overtook a police line in the Crypt, chanted “NANCY! NANCY!” as he approached House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, climbed on statues, and watched and took videos as rioters fought with officers, according to a prosecutor’s statement of the case

In a pre-sentence memo, Sherrill’s lawyer, Joanne Slaight, told the judge that he was sincerely remorseful and had no extremist tendencies. The lawyer asked for a sentence of home detention or halfway house.

Common factors in Chutkan’s lenient sentences to Irizarry, Bishai and Sherrill are the defendants’ young ages, their lack of any criminal records and their exemplary records as citizens before and after the riots, according to public records in their cases.

Irizarry and Bishai had both worked hundreds of hours in community service before the Capitol riot. Afterwards, Irizarry continued at the Citadel until December, after he pleaded guilty and the Citadel suspended him. At the Citadel, he racked up top grades and was known for his good conduct.

Sherrill’s attorney submitted 16 letters from people in his community attesting to “his generosity and thoughtfulness…. Their support confirms that his actions on the Capitol grounds were totally out of character, and will not be repeated,” Slaight wrote, noting the letters were from former educators, family and community members.

‘Young people do stupid things’

Chutkan was randomly assigned to Trump’s case.

Irizarry, Bishai and Sherrill were the youngest defendants to come before her, she has said.

“You’re young, and young people do stupid things,” Chutkan told Bishai before giving him 14 days incarceration, according to a court transcript. “I have a 23-year-old and a 25-year-old. You know, it’s almost — you are almost programmed to do dumb things at this age. I have taken that into consideration.”

Despite her light sentences in those cases, Chutkan’s record shows she takes the events of Jan. 6 very seriously.

In a May 2022 hearing on Bishai and Irizarry’s case, Chutkan told Bishai that on Jan. 6, 2021, he was part of a “mob (that) almost caused the halt of the transfer of power in this country in what’s tantamount to an attempt to overthrow this government.”

Chutkan also made it clear, when told by a prosecutor that Bishai had anti-semitic and racist images on his cellphone, that she was concerned about actions, not words.

“I have said and I will continue to say and I will say today, I am not punishing anyone for their political beliefs. Every defendant before me has a right to believe whatever they want. That is of no moment,” Chutkan told prosecutor Grace Albinson on July 29, 2022, at Bishai’s sentencing hearing, according to a court transcript.

Later in that hearing, Chutkan said, “People are entitled to their political beliefs no matter how offensive they may be other to people. His political beliefs do not count one bit with me. In a previous life (as a public defender), I worked very hard to defend people’s rights to protest and to believe what they want to believe. I’m never going to punish him for what be believes. I am punishing him for what he did.”

But, Chutkan has also said the threat to democracy posed by the Jan. 6 mob that Irizarry, Bishai and Sherrill were part of and events of that day could not have been more serious.

In the 45-page multi-count indictment issued Aug. 1, Trump is charged with using the riled up mob to “go to the Capitol as a means to obstruct the certification (of Biden as president) and pressure the Vice President (Pence) to fraudulently obstruct the certification.”

Chutkan, 61, born in Jamaica, was appointed to the federal bench in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama. She was confirmed by the Senate by a 95-0 vote, according to news accounts. She has worked for a private law firm and spent 11 years as a federal public defender representing low-income criminal defendants in the District of Columbia.

Biggest trial in U.S. history

Chutkan will be presiding over what is arguably the most significant trial in the nation’s history, and her every action will be scrutinized.

The indictment charges Trump, 77, with taking part in four different conspiracies to overturn the November 2020 presidential vote, which was won by President Biden.

Trump is already openly critical of Chutkan. “There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case,” Trump wrote in all caps in a Truth Social post Sunday. “Everybody knows this, and so does she!”

Trump also faces other criminal charges.

In federal court in Florida, the former president is charged with unlawfully retaining classified documents and obstructing government efforts to get them back, among other charges. In New York, he is charged in state court with falsifying business records in a hush-money payment case. In Georgia, he is expected to face state charges in connection with alleged efforts to overturn that state’s 2020 presidential election.

Some 1,106 people have been arrested for offenses in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Of those, 632 have pleaded guilty. Approximately 140 police were assaulted that day.

Brown, Bishai’s lawyer, is a Trump supporter. If he were representing Trump in the upcoming trial, he would likely ask for a change of venue based on the demographics of the Democratic leanings of the District of Columbia and the adverse publicity about the case, he said.

But, he added, he found Chutkan to be a judge who had empathy and did her homework. “A change of venue motion in Trump’s case would not be based on who the judge is,” he said.

Ga. attorney heading to prison for being one of the first through Capitol doors on Jan. 6

A Georgia attorney has learned his fate after admitting to being one of the first to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

McCall Calhoun, who has practiced law in Americus for 30 years, describes himself as an “anti-communist counter-revolutionary.”

“The Deep State cannot stop us,” McCall wrote on Parler, a now-inactive social media network popular with former President Trump’s supporters, “They learned that today when we stormed the Capitol and took it. The word is we’re all coming back armed for war.”

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Calhoun, 60, posted a video of himself on social media in the middle of the mob swarming the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The attorney was ordered to serve 18 months in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. He was also ordered to serve 2 years of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution.

After his 2021 arrest, Channel 2 Action News learned that Calhoun is suffering from prostate cancer, and his family wanted him to be released so he could be seen by his own doctors. His current health condition is unclear.


According to the Department of Justice, Calhoun entered the Capitol through the broken Senate Wing Door and walked around inside. At one point, evidence shows him outside of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

After leaving the Capitol, prosecutors say Calhoun posted on Facebook, saying “Today the American People proved we have the power. We physically took control of the Capitol building in a hand to hand hostile takeover. We occupied the Capitol and shut down the Government – we shut down their stolen election shenanigans . . .”

He was arrested just days later and found guilty in March 2023.

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Four SC family members who were ‘ringleaders’ in Jan. 6 Capitol riot sentenced to prison

Four members of a South Carolina family who acted as “ringleaders” to an unruly mob inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 have been sentenced to stints in prison for their actions that day.

Linwood Robinson Sr.; his son, Linwood Robinson II; a younger son, Benjamin Robinson; and Brittany Robinson, the wife of Linwood Robinson II, will all go to prison for terms ranging from one to four months. They are among the 23 people from South Carolina so far arrested in the Capitol riot.

The Robinsons are from Indian Land in Lancaster County in upstate South Carolina, south of Charlotte and east of Rock Hill.

All four Robinsons were supporters of former President Donald Trump who had journeyed to Washington that day to attend his “Stop the Steal” rally, according to evidence in the case. During that rally, Trump and his allies falsely claimed his November 2020 election had been stolen by Democrats.

The Robinsons were sentenced in separate hearings Wednesday and Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C. Trump was in federal court Thursday in Washington, D.C., in a separate hearing after he was indicted in an alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election results..

In sentencing the Robinson family members to prison, U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson disregarded a plea from family attorney William Shipley of Honolulu to give them probation. Shipley argued they had been non-violent during their time in the Capitol.

Here are the sentences:

Benjamin Robinson, 25, four months in prison.

Linwood Robinson Sr., 60, two months in prison.

Linwood Robinson II, 30, two months in prison.

Brittany Robinson, 30, wife of Linwood II, one month in prison.

All pleaded guilty in March to the misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Other charges against them — including disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and remaining in a restricted building — were dropped.

Prosecutors had wanted four months in prison for Benjamin Robinson and three months’ for the other three Robinsons.

Each Robinson must also pay $500 restitution that will go toward repaying the $2.9 million in damages the rioters did to the Capitol building.

Federal prosecutors had characterized all four Robinson family members as acting so aggressively during the time they were in the Capitol that they served as “ringleaders” for other mob members.

At one point, the Robinsons directed the crowd to the Speaker’s Lobby hallway where one rioter, Ashli Babbit, was fatally shot as a result of the rioters’ efforts to enter the House chamber, prosecutors wrote.. At one point, Brittany and Linwood II were chanting “Whose House? Our House!” according to evidence in the case.

Some of the evidence that allowed the FBI to identify the Robinsons consisted of numerous videos and photos taken inside the Capitol the day of the riot, according to court documents. Other evidence also included Facebook pages and geolocation data on Robinson Sr.’s cellphone.

Benjamin Robinson, who got the longest sentence, “engaged in violence when he kicked at the Speaker’s Lobby door even after police officers inside the House Chamber had drawn their weapons and prepared to shoot the invading mob,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

Prosecutors also noted that “as recently as June 2023, months after their guilty pleas, each of the Robinson defendants refused to accept responsibility or express any kind of remorse for the illegality of their actions.”

A government complaint in the case also alleged that the Robinsons, who were arrested in May 2022, had been among the first rioters into the Capitol and, once on the Senate side of the building, “breached the police line to gain access to the rest of the building.”

The Robinsons should have known that there was a violent attack on the Capitol taking place when they joined the mob, prosecutors wrote.

“At the time the Robinsons crossed the west lawn to the Northwest Stairs, rioters were violently engaging with police officers who were fighting to hold back the mob. Officers used pepper spray, smoke bombs, audible warnings to leave, and other crowd control measures that made it unmistakable that the West Front was no place for a peaceful demonstration,” prosecutors wrote.

Robinson attorney Shipley wrote in a memo to the judge that the Robinsons were not part of the violent groups that invaded the Capitol that day intending to do harm. Nor were they among the Capitol rioters who spontaneously committed acts of violence, Shipley wrote.

Instead, the Robinsons — who had not planned to march on the Capitol — were among a large group of people who were at the Capitol to protest “but remained primarily as spectators to what developed into a riot,” Shipley wrote.

The Robinsons had “traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the planned and advertised ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the invitation of rally organizers and then President Donald Trump. Their reason for attending the rally was to express their unhappiness and concerns over perceived irregularities of the 2020 presidential election as widely debated in the media for nearly two months at that point,” Shipley wrote.

By that time, some 60 lawsuits brought by Trump’s allies in battleground states alleging election fraud had failed. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, had also said publicly there was no fraud substantial enough to overturn the election results.

Another motive for the family to go to Washington was that the Robinsons’ car repair business had suffered during COVID, and the family had suffered economic woes, Shipley wrote.

On the day the Capitol was stormed, it was closed to the public.

Both the House and Senate were meeting for a ceremonial counting of electoral votes by then-Vice President Mike Pence. Once rioters breached the Capitol shortly after 2 p.m., senators and representatives fled in fear for their lives. The session did not begin again until after 8 pm after law enforcement cleared the area and force rioters to leave.

Since then, more than 1,069 defendants have been charged in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 600 have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, according to the U.S Attorney’s office in Washington.

The Robinsons pled guilty in April.

Kepala Kepolisian Capitol AS mengatakan laporan penembak aktif mungkin merupakan ‘panggilan palsu’

Petugas Polisi Capitol AS tidak menemukan konfirmasi penembak aktif Rabu sore di dekat gedung perkantoran Senat, kata Kepala Thomas Manger.

“Kami tidak menemukan konfirmasi bahwa ada penembak aktif, dan bahwa ini mungkin panggilan palsu,” kata Manger kepada wartawan di luar Capitol setelah gedung perkantoran Senat dikunci.

Sekitar pukul 4 sore ET, Manger mengatakan bahwa semua gedung Senat telah dibersihkan oleh polisi.

Dia mengatakan Departemen Kepolisian Metropolitan telah menerima panggilan 9-1-1 tentang penembak aktif di Gedung Kantor Senat Hart pada pukul 14:30. Panggilan itu disampaikan ke Polisi Capitol, yang petugasnya merespons dalam “hitungan detik,” kata Manger.

Orang-orang keluar dari Gedung Kantor Senat Russell pada 2 Agustus 2023. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Orang-orang keluar dari Gedung Kantor Senat Russell pada 2 Agustus 2023. (Susan Walsh/AP)

“Sejauh ini, tidak ada. Kami tidak menemukan apa pun yang mengkhawatirkan,” kata Manger. “Kami tidak punya siapa pun yang benar-benar mendengar tembakan, dan tentu saja tidak ada, tidak ada korban. Dan ketika kami melewati gedung, tidak ada yang mengatakan bahwa mereka telah melihat sesuatu.”

Panggilan telepon asli memperingatkan tentang “pria Hispanik yang mengenakan pelindung tubuh,” kata Manger kepada wartawan. “Kami tidak memiliki informasi lain, tidak ada konfirmasi tentang itu.”

Polisi Metropolitan berusaha melacak penelepon asli beberapa kali, kata Manger, tetapi setiap kali lokasi yang berbeda terdaftar.

Pihak berwenang di Washington telah membuat persiapan untuk kedatangan mantan Presiden Donald Trump, yang diperkirakan akan muncul dalam dakwaannya pada Kamis sore di gedung pengadilan federal sehubungan dengan upaya untuk membatalkan pemilihan 2020.

Sebelumnya Rabu, dua pejabat penegak hukum mengatakan kepada NBC News bahwa polisi mengunci dan mengevakuasi Gedung Kantor Senat Russell setelah menerima laporan tentang kemungkinan penembak aktif.

Foto: Petugas Polisi Capitol AS berpatroli di dekat Gedung Kantor Senat Russell pada 2 Agustus 2023. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Foto: Petugas Polisi Capitol AS berpatroli di dekat Gedung Kantor Senat Russell pada 2 Agustus 2023. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Sebelum Manger berbicara kepada wartawan, Petugas Hugh Carew dari Departemen Kepolisian Metropolitan mengatakan bahwa “panggilan masuk untuk penembak aktif. Tampaknya itu panggilan yang buruk. Tidak ada cedera dan tidak ada penembak yang ditemukan.” Dia mengatakan bahwa MPD membantu Polisi Capitol.

Polisi Capitol AS mentweet tepat sebelum jam 3 sore bahwa petugas mereka sedang mencari di dalam dan sekitar gedung kantor Senat sebagai tanggapan atas “panggilan 911 yang mengkhawatirkan.”

“Tolong menjauh dari daerah itu karena kami masih menyelidiki. Kami akan terus berkomunikasi dengan publik di sini,” cuit agensi.

Dalam sebuah pos tindak lanjut, Polisi Capitol mengatakan, “Jika Anda berada di dalam Gedung Senat, semua orang di dalam harus berlindung di tempat karena laporan itu untuk kemungkinan penembak aktif. Perlu dicatat bahwa kami tidak memiliki laporan tembakan yang dikonfirmasi.”

Petugas memblokir akses ke terowongan bawah tanah yang mengarah ke gedung perkantoran Senat dari gedung Capitol utama.

Orang-orang berjalan keluar dari Gedung Kantor Senat Russell dengan tangan di udara pada 2 Agustus 2023, setelah laporan yang belum dikonfirmasi tentang penembak aktif di gedung dekat Capitol AS.  (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images)

Orang-orang berjalan keluar dari Gedung Kantor Senat Russell dengan tangan di udara pada 2 Agustus 2023, setelah laporan yang belum dikonfirmasi tentang penembak aktif di gedung dekat Capitol AS. (Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images)

Sebuah email yang dikirim ke staf kongres memperingatkan orang-orang untuk pindah ke dalam kantor mereka atau yang terdekat dan untuk mengambil peralatan darurat dan pengunjung. Ia mengatakan kepada orang-orang untuk menutup, mengunci dan menjauh dari pintu dan jendela eksternal dan untuk menemukan tempat untuk bersembunyi atau mencari perlindungan jika mereka berada di ruang publik.

Sementara gedung Russell dievakuasi, postur keamanan di gedung Capitol itu sendiri tampak cukup tenang, tetapi waspada.

Sebagian besar anggota parlemen saat ini jauh dari Capitol dan di distrik kongres mereka untuk reses Agustus. Anggota staf masih melapor ke kantor mereka di Capitol Hill, tetapi kemungkinan ada lebih sedikit orang di gedung perkantoran selama masa reses.

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