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Hundreds of sentences three years after the assault on the Capitol

January 6 marks three years since a mob of Donald Trump supporters broke into the United States Capitol to stop the session confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Since then, hundreds of sentences, although the culmination – not the end – of the now largest investigation by the Department of Justice would be in an eventual conviction of the former Republican president as the instigator of the events.

As of December 2023, some 1,240 people have been arrested in relation to their participation in the riots, ranging from minor crimes such as trespassing into restricted spaces, to much more serious charges such as attacking authority, attempting to stop the confirmation of the electoral result. , or the worst of them, conspiracy to reverse the rule of law.

Among those convicted of conspiracy is Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys militia, one of the many far-right armed groups that participated that day in protests that directly or indirectly left a dozen dead, as some agents died within days. later due to the aftermath of the attacks, or even ended up committing suicide.

Paradoxically, Tarrio was not present on January 6, 2021 on the streets of Washington, but his role as an organizer had sufficient impact, as the courts said, on the events of that day. The 22 years in prison to which he was sentenced in September 2023 are the largest sentence imposed so far.

His was one of several prison sentences to which other members of his organization were sentenced, as well as other leaders of the different groups who roamed around heavily armed that day, such as Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers, convicted. to 18 years in prison.

Although the highest penalties have been reserved for those who fatten these militias, some will spend time behind bars for pepper spraying the overwhelmed agents who tried to confront the seditionists, or for breaking the first window of the Capitol, a dubious honor. which has cost Dominic Pezzola 10 years in prison. Richard Barnett, for breaking in and sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s offices, got 4 years.

All of them are part of the 450 cases that have ended in prison sentences, although there are also some of just a few days. Around 170 people have been convicted in court, while only two have been acquitted. Approximately 710 other subjects have pleaded guilty, including 210 to felonies.

After being convicted or pleading guilty, some 720 people have been sentenced. Meanwhile, 350 cases are still pending to be resolved. Despite the 1,240 arrests, US authorities believe that number could be only half of the total indictments that will ultimately be filed.

However, the cases mentioned above related to these far-right militias, although the most publicized, have been a minority with respect to all those that have gone unnoticed by public opinion because they are minor crimes, although they have served as a basis for the Department. of Justice to shape the main accusation at hand, that of Donald Trump.

One of the arguments that the detainees have repeated most in those discreet hearings is that they were instigated to act to stop the confirmation of Biden’s victory by the former US president, who already during the campaign insisted that he would be a victim of electoral fraud. . Some baseless accusations that he continued to make, and still let fall, after losing narrowly.

Pending an eventual indictment of Trump for these events, the magnate has been accused of four federal charges that could result in a total of more than 55 years in prison for trying to overturn the result of the 2020 elections.

Oblivious to this and spurred by his high approval ratings among the Republican electorate, his intention continues to be to sit in the Oval Office again starting with the 2024 presidential elections, while some state courts decide his disqualification or not in the party primaries for his role in those unprecedented riots in American history.

President Biden is expected to take an even tougher tone against Trump and his aspirations to return to the White House when he addresses the country this Friday from Pennsylvania on the third anniversary of the assault on the Capitol, after having spent much of 2023 promoting other aspects of its administration.

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