Two Capitol rioters sentenced to 45 days in jail on misdemeanor charges

Two Capitol rioters sentenced to 45 days in jail on misdemeanor charges
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A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced two men to 45 days in jail for misdemeanor charges over their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Derek Jancart, an Air Force veteran, and Erik Rau both pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct in the Capitol, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, to sentence both defendants to four months in jail, arguing that while neither was accused of committing any violence or destruction during the riot, they had encouraged it on Jan. 6 and showed a lack of remorse in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection.

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Boasberg said during a hearing on Wednesday the factors for each defendant necessitated a lighter sentence but acknowledged that all of the charges "related to the January 6 insurrection are serious."

"You attempted with others to undermine one of our country's bedrock acts, which is the peaceful transfer of power following a democratic election," the judge said during Jancart's sentencing.

The two men went to the Capitol together on Jan. 6, and Jancart shared videos on social media of Rau yelling at police officers, "We have you surrounded," and cheering on the mayhem.

Jancart and Rau spent 40 minutes in the Capitol, making it into Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown MORE's (D-Calif.) conference room and "inciting" the rioters, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors credited the two men for being among the first Capitol riot defendants to accept a plea deal, which they cited as one of the reasons why they did not ask for the maximum of six months incarceration.

Jancart and Rau are the first two Jan. 6 defendants who had not already been incarcerated in pretrial detention to receive jail time.

Both men spoke briefly during their hearings on Wednesday, expressing remorse for participating in the riot.

"I do apologize for my individual actions that day," Jancart said. "I did get caught up in the moment and I wish I had showed better behavior."

"There's no excuse for my actions on January 6," Rau said through tears. "There's no excuse for leaving the hotel to go over there."

Michelle Peterson, an attorney with the D.C. Federal Public Defender's office representing Rau, acknowledged that her client had made some "stupid" remarks on Jan. 6. In arguing for a lighter sentence, she urged Boasberg to put those remarks within a broader context.

"I would note however, frankly, that his statements pale in comparison to statements made by politicians that day to incite people to go to the Capitol and commit violence," Peterson said.

 Updated at 12:45 p.m.