National Security

Prosecutors seek 90-day sentence for Jan. 6 defendant photographed with Pelosi’s lectern

Prosecutors are asking that the man photographed with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) lectern during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol be sentenced to 90 days in prison.

In a sentencing memo filed on Friday, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said Adam Johnson should also receive one year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine, pay $500 in restitution and provide 60 hours of community service.

Johnson pleaded guilty in November to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. The sentencing guidelines settled upon by the parties included zero to six months in prison and fines ranging from $500 to $9,500.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton is set to sentence Johnson on Wednesday, according to NBC News.

Prosecutors in the sentencing memo wrote that Johnson’s actions illustrate that he had a “sense of entitlement and privilege.” They also said the widely circulated images of him carrying Pelosi’s podium portrayed him as “confident, arguable gleeful, while converting government property to his own use during an unlawful siege of the Capitol.”

The prosecutors said the pretense report “indicates that Johnson’s wife is a doctor, and that their financial situation is so favorable that Johnson has not had to work for the past 11 years.”

“In addition, Johnson has privately retained not one, but two, reputable attorneys. Surely, then, he can afford a substantial fine to reimburse taxpayers for his part in the mob that caused significant damage to the United States Capitol and has resulted in enormous burdens on the criminal justice system,” the prosecutors added.

The sentencing memo also cites text messages Johnson sent in the aftermath of the Capitol riot in which he “bragged that he ‘broke the internet’ and was ‘finally famous.'”

Johnson’s lawyers, in a memo also filed on Friday, said their client “deeply regrets his participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”

“The damage and violence inflicted on that date by others is contrary to everything he believes in. He has no history of violence and does not condone it. While his actions on January 6, 2021 did not involve the destruction of government property or physical violence against law enforcement, he understands that his entry in the U.S. Capitol, at times yelling and screaming, exacerbated a terrible situation,” his attorneys said.

They argued, however, that his case has received widespread attention “simply because the lectern belonged to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.”

“Arguably, if he latched onto some other piece of government furniture for his photo opportunity jail time would not even be a consideration,” they added.

The defense memo called on the court to “consider the significant and negative impact that incarceration would have on his sons.” Johnson is a stay-at-home father to five boys ages 6 to 14, according to NBC News.

He was at first also charged with one count of theft of government property and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, but those counts were dismissed when he pleaded guilty to the first charge.

At his plea hearing, Johnson said he “got caught up in the moment” and went through a “hard couple of years,” which led him to spend time “listening to a lot of information and reading things” online, according to The Washington Post.

Tags Adam Johnson Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Jan. 6 Capitol attack Jan. 6 capitol riot Nancy Pelosi
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