Politics

Report: Many ‘Unlikely’ to Face Jail Time for Capitol Riot

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Many who entered the Capitol building during January 6 protests of the 2020 election outcome are “unlikely” to face jail time — a “jarring reality check” for Americans “outraged by the storming of Capitol Hill,” according to a Politico report on Tuesday.

“What about somebody who has no criminal record who got jazzed up by the president, walked in, spends 15 minutes in Statuary Hall and leaves? What happens to that person? They’re not going to get a jail sentence for that,” a defense attorney, who asked not to be named, told the outlet.

“There is a natural cycle to an event like this,” the defense attorney added. “People will say it was the end of the world, then things will calm down, and they’ll begin looking at cases back on what people actually did.”

The report’s sub-headline noted that the cases “could embarrass the Biden administration, which has portrayed the Jan. 6 siege as a dire threat to democracy.”

The report said there have been high-profile conspiracy cases involving members of “right-wing, paramilitary groups” but the most urgent decisions for prosecutors involve resolving “scores of lower-level cases” clogging the D.C. federal district court.

Politico reported that, so far, almost a quarter of the more than 230 defendants formally and publicly charged — about 57 — face only misdemeanors, and in recent days, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys have all indicated that they expect few to face harsh sentences.

The report said the actions of many often boiled down to “trespassing”:

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