A judge in a Jan.6 case blamed the insurgency at the feet of former President Trump. Judge Amit Mehta at a sentencing hearing on Friday said those who stormed the Capitol are paying the price while Trump and others who originally “created the conditions” of the riot were not “held accountable for their actions and their words.”
Mehta made the remarks during the sentencing of John Lolos, who pleaded guilty to an offense of parade, demonstration or illegal picketing on the United States Capitol. While Mehta didn’t mention Trump or anyone else by name, it’s clear who he was talking about.
“[Lolos] did not come to Washington, DC on purpose to storm the Capitol, âMehta said, according to Politics. “The fact remains that he and others were called to Washington, DC, by an elected official, urged to march to Capitol Hill by an elected official.”
On the day of the attack, Trump told a crowd of his supporters to “fight like hell,” adding, “If you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country.
Mehta lamented that those in power who spread election disinformation have largely escaped responsibility. “People like Mr. Lolos have heard lies, lies, said our election was stolen when it clearly wasn’t,” Mehta added. âWe are here today to decide whether Mr. Lolos should spend 30 days in prison when those who created the conditions that led to Mr. Lolos’ conduct led to the events of January 6. [havenât been] held accountable for their actions and their words.
Mehta went on to say that Lolos was just a pawn, pushed by more powerful players. âYou were a pawn in a game run and played by people who should know better,â Mehta told Lolos. âI think that mitigates your conduct. “
Although Lolos told the judge he wanted to take responsibility for his actions on January 6, he also launched a long rant about the theft of the 2020 election. Lolos said that “the electoral fraud on television” and its disappointment with the Justice Department’s response to the allegations of voter fraud is what motivated him to travel to Washington, DC, Zoe Tillman from Buzzfeed reported.
âOnce you hear people who should know better tell you that an election has been stolen and they say it loud enough, quite frequently,â Mehta said, âit’s no surprise that people believe it. . “
Mehta ultimately sentenced Lolos to 14 days, about half of the government’s recommended 30-day sentence. This is not Mehta’s only trial on January 6. He is also presiding over a high-profile case in which 20 Oath Keepers were accused of conspiring to prevent the election from being certified.
The lawsuits against MAGA rioters sparked much anger towards the former president for his role in provoking his supporters to storm the Capitol. After the “QAnon Shaman” was sentenced to more than three years in prison for his actions on January 6, lawyer Al Watkins had choice words for what he would say to Trump if given the chance .
“I would say to him, ‘You know what, you got a few fucking things to do,” said Watkins, “including cleaning up that fucking mess and taking care of a lot of assholes you fucked up because of Jan 6. “
Jacob Chansley’s lawyer, aka the “QAnon Shaman,” said Trump needs to deal with the “fools who [he] screwed up because of january 6 ‘ pic.twitter.com/llHasyNWOL
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 18, 2021
Nearly 700 people have been charged in the wake of the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Trump and those around him who pushed the baseless claims about the 2020 election that inspired the insurgency have so far escaped legal responsibility.