Eight months in prison for Capitol striker | free press

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The man in the Washington District Court courtroom looked remorseful and remorseful. “Had I known the protest was escalating, I would never have gone beyond the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue,” assured Paul Allard H., a Florida crane operator. He made a “stupid decision” on January 6.

The man in the Washington District Court courtroom looked remorseful and remorseful. “Had I known the protest was escalating, I would never have gone beyond the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue,” assured Paul Allard H., a Florida crane operator. He made a “stupid decision” on January 6, the 38-year-old explained: “I put my emotions above my principles.”

Six months ago, the “Eagle Scout” lost its course. Paul Allard H., equipped with goggles, rope and latex gloves, drove a bus 1500 kilometers to Washington from his hometown of Tampa. When ex-President Donald Trump called on his supporters on Jan. 6 to fight “like the devil” against Congressional certification of the election results, the long-haired man stormed the Capitol with hundreds of like-minded people and forced his way into the Senate Chamber. A photo shows him there in front of the lectern wearing a Trump shirt and Trump flag.

“The symbolism of this action is undeniable,” Judge Randolph Moss said, and sentenced the 38-year-old to eight months in prison. The appearance of the Trump flag at the heart of parliament, whose members had previously fled, epitomized “the threat to democracy we all experienced that day.” In a deal with the prosecution, who dropped minor charges in return, H. had been found guilty of obstructing the work of Congress. This is a serious criminal offense in the United States. Now H., who apparently was not involved in acts of violence or vandalism, is going to prison as the first participant in the Capitol storm.

According to observers, the verdict could set a precedent for other trials of the bloody coup attempt that killed five people, injured 140 police officers and caused property damage of $1.5 million. About 540 rioters are charged. The Washington court is currently conducting hourly hearings. Things are different, according to a Washington Post report: While some defendants are charged with property damage, trespassing and other relatively minor offenses, more than 100 like H. are being prosecuted for seriously obstructing Congress’ work. Other rioters are charged with assault or manslaughter. About 20 have pleaded guilty so far, besides H. only two people have been sentenced – albeit to suspended sentences.

The defendants’ defense pattern is similar. Accordingly, either Trump, the media or the circumstances are responsible for the crimes. However, the former president does not even think of taking on any responsibility. The rioters only came “to show support for me,” he is quoted in a new book (“I alone can fix it”) by two renowned Washington Post correspondents. In Trump’s confused parallel world, the rioters were incited to their actions by law enforcement: “Frankly, the Capitol police let them in. The police were friendly. They hugged and kissed them,” he claims. .