On Friday, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, Reggie Walton, reportedly compared the actions of January 6 rioters at the U.S. Capitol to Russian forces invading Ukraine while sentencing the man who stole Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern during the breach.
Walton claimed the U.S. was on a “dangerous slide” and that the riot was what you would see in “banana republics” or “what we’re experiencing now in Ukraine.” The accused man, Adam Johnson from Florida, said he would not have tried to harm Pelosi, but rather he would have asked “for a selfie with her, if anything” had he ran into her that day.
Johnson, the man who posed for a photograph that went viral as he waltzed through the U.S. Capitol building carrying Pelosi’s stolen lectern, was sentenced to 75 days in jail for his misdemeanor, ABC News’ Tampa Bay affiliate reported:
Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and was sentenced by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. Friday. In addition to the jail sentence, Johnson was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
Because of time already served, Johnson only has to spend 60 more days in jail.
According to Politico, Walton opined that the U.S. could end up in a war-torn future if the government doesn’t “do anything” to stop future events like January 6:
In handing down the sentence, Judge Reggie Walton said the U.S. was headed in a dangerous direction if activities like the insurrection continue.
“That’s what we see in countries, like what we’re experiencing now in Ukraine,” Judge Walton said, according to Politico. “That’s where we’re headed if we don’t do anything to stop it.”
For his part, Johnson was apologetic and expressed his understanding that things would be very different for him had he pulled this sort of stunt in a foreign nation, NBC News reported:
Johnson, speaking to the court on Friday, said he’d been “nothing but cooperative” with the government since his arrest, and said his actions demonstrated that he was apologetic and was “ashamed” to have been a part of the Capitol riot.
Johnson said he recognized that if he did what he did in another country, he’d be “on a firing wall instead of a courtroom.” He claimed he had no intent to harm Pelosi.
Johnson is a stay-at-home father of five, and admitted in court that he stole the lectern “because he believed it would make a good prop for a picture.”
According to NBC News, “Johnson also admitted that he shouted that a bust of George Washington would be ‘a great battering ram’ as rioters attempted to break into the floor of the U.S. House, where members of Congress were still present.”
As for what the world is “experiencing now in Ukraine,” as Walton referenced, there are currently thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing the country with dozens — potentially hundreds — of Russians and Ukrainians killed so far as Russia continues its full-scale attack on the Eastern European nation.
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