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Ryan Nichols, Capitol rioter who confessed on video in the third person, gets five years

WASHINGTON — A Donald Trump fanatic who attacked police officers with pepper spray and called for more violence after the Capitol attack while confessing in the third person has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison and fined of $200,000 on Thursday.

Ryan Nichols pleaded guilty in November to one count of obstructing an official proceeding and one count of assaulting officers in the line of duty. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, a Ronald Reagan appointee who exposed the Republican Party’s “absurd” false claims about the Jan. 6 attack, sentenced Nichols to 63 months in prison Thursday, saying that even though Nichols’ apology During his sentencing hearing “appear to be sincere”, Nichols made “very harsh comments” on tape about his desire for future violence.

The $200,000 fine is among the highest ever set in a Jan. 6 case. This was imposed because Nichols did not cooperate with a financial assessment, and so there was no evidence he could not pay, Lamberth said. A crowdfunding account launched in the name of Nichols and his family has raised more than $235,000 since 2021. Nichols’ attorney said he plans to appeal the fine.

In videofilmed before participating in the attack on the Capitol, Nichols said the mob would lynch elected officials who voted to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

“It’s the second fucking revolution!” said Nichols as he walked toward the Capitol. “Ryan Nichols said it, if you voted for fucking treason, we’re going to drag your fucking people through the streets.”

After being seen on film spraying a giant canister of chemical weapon at officers inside the West Lower Terrace Tunnel, Nichols took to Facebook to brag about his conduct and call for more of violence.

“So if you want to know where Ryan Nichols stands, Ryan Nichols stands for violence,” Nichols said. said in a video cited by prosecutors.

Ryan Nichols.USDCDC

Referring to Nichols’ work in hurricane recovery, which landed him on daytime television, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Brasher said Nichols was “a hurricane of his own alone” on January 6, engaging in tirades and sparking violence at the Capitol. Although the storm walls of democracy may have finally stood that day, Brasher argued that January 6 is a festering wound and the next presidential election is approaching. Brasher, arguing for an 83-month sentence, said the court must send a strong message that political violence is unacceptable. Brasher noted that Nichols repeatedly said he was willing to die for his cause.

“I’m going to die for this,” Nichols said in a video after the Jan. 6 attack. “But before I do that, I intend to have other people die first, for their country, if it comes to that.”

Joseph McBride, a Donald Trump supporter who served as Nichols’ attorney, called Nichols “a good man who did a bad thing.” McBride called what came out of Nichols’ mouth on Jan. 6 “insanity” and compared Nichols to a “tropical storm” rather than a hurricane.

McBride, a former guest of Tucker Carlson’s who has repeatedly fueled conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 riots, also claimed he now thinks some talk about right-wing “hostages” and “political prisoners” is went too far, although he said the rhetoric used by the government about the Jan. 6 defendants was also inappropriate.

“All of this is wrong, none of this should be happening,” McBride said, saying he had recently “toned things down.”

Neither Nichols nor McBride — who said they want “Trump to win in 2024 and live another 100 years” — spoke about the role they believed the former president played in Nichols’ radicalization. But Nichols is one of several Jan. 6 defendants who later indicated they felt deceived by Trump’s lies. Nichols, in his 2021 interview with the FBI, “said he no longer trusted the president or other top legal leaders because he felt they had led him in the wrong direction” , mentioning “statements made by President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, General Michael.” Flynn and Lin Wood who helped him form his opinion.

Nichols, a military veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, told Judge Lamberth on Thursday that he apologized for inflicting pain and trauma on law enforcement officers at the Capitol. Nichols, through tears, said he wanted to help other incarcerated people and said he had learned from his mistakes, calling his words disgusting and saying he was deeply ashamed of his rhetoric.

“I went absolutely crazy,” Nichols said, while adding that he felt his “debt to society had been paid in full.”

“I don’t advocate violence,” said Nichols, who repeatedly said otherwise three years ago.

More than 1,387 defendants have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack, and prosecutors have nearly 1,000 convictions. Hundreds of minor rioters were sentenced to probation, but more than 520 defendants received prison sentences ranging from a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison. Only about 15 defendants remain in pretrial detention, while the rest of the defendants incarcerated on January 6 have been convicted of a crime.

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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