Conservative scion Brent Bozell IV to be sentenced in Jan. 6 case

WASHINGTON — A man whose family members were key architects of the U.S. conservative movement was sentenced Friday to three years and nine months in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which included broken windows allowing the crowd to burst into the building during the first breach.

Federal prosecutors have sought more than 11 years in prison and a fine on terrorism charges against Brent Bozell IV, the son of Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell III and grandson of Joe McCarthy speechwriter Brent Bozell Jr., who was the brother of William F. Buckley Jr.-brother-in-law and ghost wrote Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative.”

But Judge John Bates on Friday sentenced Bozell IV to 45 months in prison and $4,727 in restitution. Bates believed the plain language of the Enhancement of Terrorism Act would apply to Bozell’s case, saying it was “a little hard for me to escape” that conclusion. But Bates disagreed with the enormous impact it would have on Bozell’s sentencing range and seemed uncomfortable with labeling a man who played a leading role in the politically motivated attack on the US Capitol.

“I’m not sure that label is an appropriate label for the defendant to carry with him,” Bates said, noting that even though Bozell broke the windows that allowed the mob into the building and joined the crowd as it passed several police lines, his conduct was not “significantly violent” and he did not cause any physical harm to the officers. Yet he previously found that Bozell “leaned toward the officers with his head down” and “forcibly” made contact with the officers as a crowd. charged a line of police. He also found that Bozell repeatedly lied on the stand about his conduct.

Bates also used the opportunity to indirectly push back against rhetoric used by Republican politicians about the Jan. 6 defendants.

“Not for one moment should the January 6 rioters be considered true patriots,” said Bates, a George W. Bush appointee. “They are not political prisoners. They are not hostages.

The Jan. 6 rioters now face consequences for their actions, based on fair, impartial and equitable application of the law, Bates said.

Brent Bozell IV at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.FBI; US DC for the District of Columbia

Bozell, with his father sitting in the courtroom, apologized for his actions in court, saying he had “stained” his family forever. “I don’t recognize the person in those videos,” Bozell said, vowing to spend the rest of his life making sure what he did on Jan. 6 was not the story of his life.

But Bozell notably did not say he now realizes he was misled about the 2020 election or blame former President Donald Trump’s lies for his conduct, as many of the defendants in the January 6.

Asked by NBC News after his sentencing whether he still believed the 2020 election was “stolen,” as Trump falsely claimed before the attack, Bozell declined to comment. (In carefully worded language, Bozell’s defense sentencing memo says only that Bozell “accepts that the President of the United States is Joe Biden,” which is the same tactic Republican politicians have used to avoid discuss their beliefs about the 2020 elections in detail.)

On January 6, 2021, Bozell joined the pro-Trump mob as they broke through the police line and smashed windows in the first breach of the Capitol. He stood alongside members of the far-right Proud Boys party, as well as an abortion rights advocate accused of plotting to kill FBI employees who worked on his Jan. 6 case.

Bozell walked to the Senate gallery, then onto the Senate floor. He also joined the crowd in another violent breach of the Capitol rotunda doors, which allowed other rioters to storm the building.

Prosecutors say Bozell “led the charge” on January 6 because he “believed the presidential election had been ‘stolen’ and therefore planned to respond with violence.” They are seeking an enhanced terrorism sentence — the same given to five members of the Proud Boys, four of whom were convicted of seditious conspiracy — saying Bozell’s actions “demonstrated a clear intent to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the election using physical force and destruction of property”, conduct that “is a typical example of an intent to influence and retaliate against government conduct through intimidation or coercion and justifies the application of the reinforcement of terrorism”.

Prosecutors also cited Bozell’s comments that “the siege of the Capitol was morally justified” and his references to former Vice President Mike Pence as a “traitor” as evidence of his intent to engage in an act of domestic terrorism.

In a court filing this week, prosecutors said they won terrorism sentencing enhancements in a handful of Jan. 6 cases, including against Proud Boys like Enrique Tarrio, who was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison, the longest sentence ever handed down in January. 6 cases.

Prosecutors also said Bozell “presented outrageous justifications for his conduct on Jan. 6 that were both inconsistent with the video evidence and implausible” during his trial testimony, which led to his conviction in September on a felony charge. multitude of charges, including five felonies.

Bozell was arrested with the help of online sleuths, as well as local residents who recognized him because he was wearing a sweatshirt bearing the name of the school his children attended in Pennsylvania.

The prosecution’s sentencing memo mentions that Bozell sent a text message to his brother in an attempt to get his father to withdraw his public condemnation of the violence after January 6. His defense attorneys wrote that Bozell was part of a family that was “too personally and emotionally ‘invested’ in the final outcome of the 2020 election” and that Bozell is “ashamed of having smashed the windows of the U.S. Capitol and to have entered it.”

Bozell’s father wrote a letter of support, saying he had “remained silent for the past three and a half years” so as not to “rock the wagon of justice” as he now believed – especially due to of the decision to seek an enhanced sentence for terrorism – that “there is more at stake” in his son’s case.

“I am not pleading my son’s innocence, only that his punishment fits the crime. I am asking the Court to consider my son’s character which is excellent and which is defended by absolutely everyone around him,” he said. writes Bozell III.

Bozell III founded the Parents Council on Television and Media in 1995, when his son, now in his 40s, was a teenager. The organization targeted shows like “Friends,” “Dawson’s Creek” and “Spin City,” as well as video games like “Mortal Kombat.” Bozell III said during the 2016 presidential campaign that Donald Trump “might be the biggest charlatan of them all,” but he turned to Trump’s defense, even writing a book in 2019 called “Unmasked: The War of mainstream media against Trump.

Bozell’s grandfather was “convicted of assaulting a police officer with a five-foot wooden cross” after leading an anti-abortion attack on a clinic in Washington, D.C., in 1970, according to his 1997 obituary in the Washington Post.

On Friday, Bozell’s attorney, Eric Snyder, argued that while Bozell “is a lot of things,” he is not a terrorist.

“Good people do bad things,” Snyder said. “He’s a good person who did a terrible thing.”

Bozell is “a lucky man” who “had all these advantages,” Synder said, calling him “lucky.” He said Bozell was aware he had “tarnished the name of a good family,” saying the Bozells were also known for their other work outside of politics.

Bozell himself addressed the officers present, as well as his family and the judge.

“I cannot apologize enough,” he said, adding that the “devastating reality” of what he had done had impacted not only him but also his family, adding that he hadn’t been raised that way.

“I don’t know what happened that day and I can’t apologize enough,” Bozell said, adding that he corrected people he met who told him they supported what he had made it on January 6th.

He also apologized to the people of DC, noting that he wished he could go door to door and apologize as well. He said he caused a lot of harassment at his daughter’s school because he wore a school sweatshirt that day, which helped online sleuths track him down.

Shortly after his son’s conviction, Bozell III told Platform X that while he thought Bates was “a good man,” his son’s conviction was “a complete travesty,” before calling the riots that took place in some places. which were not the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College counting.

“This was a political prosecution because my son, Leo Brent Bozell IV, is named after his father, and his father is a known conservative leader who supports President Trump in 2024,” Bozell III wrote. “I love my son and I will be more candid than ever. The criminal investigation into this corrupt Justice Department is long overdue.”

In the three years since the Capitol attack, federal prosecutors have indicted more than 1,424 defendants and secured more than 1,019 convictions. Of the 884 defendants who were convicted, 541 were sentenced to periods of incarceration, ranging from a few days behind bars to Tarrio’s 22-year prison sentence.

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