Joshua Pruitt gets years behind bars for January 6 crime

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via FBI court records.

A bartender and self-proclaimed member of the extremist group Proud Boys received a record sentence on Monday among those convicted solely of obstructing Congress on Jan. 6.

Joshua Pruitt, 40, almost came face to face with Sen. Minority Leader chuck schumer (DN.Y.) as the lawmaker tried to escape the mob attacking the United States Capitol building.

Now sentenced to spend more than 4.5 years behind bars, Pruitt was sentenced to 55 months in prison by the US District Judge Timothy Kelly In Monday. Of the Jan. 6 defendants who pleaded guilty only to the offense of obstructing an official process, Pruitt appears to have the longest sentence to date, according to court documents. Jacob Chanleythe so-called “QAnon shaman”, pleaded guilty to the same offense and was sentenced to 41 months, and Paul Hodgkinthe first to plead guilty to the charge, was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Although Pruitt’s sentence broke a record among Jan. 6 defendants convicted solely of obstruction, the longest sentences on the U.S. Capitol’s docket have generally gone to a Three Percenter militia associate. Guy Refit, who was convicted of five counts, including obstruction and bringing a firearm onto Capitol grounds. Reffitt was sentenced to 87 months in prison on August 1.

Pruitt had pleaded guilty in June to obstruction of official process, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison. According to federal prosecutors, he was wearing a “tactical glove with knuckle pads” at the Capitol that day when he joined the crowd of donald trump supporters angry with Joe Bidenelectoral victory. Using a piece of fencing as a makeshift ladder, prosecutors say, Pruitt climbed the stairs to the upper west terrace of the building.

Pruitt broke through the building around 2:14 p.m. He was seen in surveillance footage throwing a wooden sign and was among the first rioters to enter the crypt, according to the government. He then walked to the Capitol Visitor’s Center, picking up a chair and tossing it as he did.

Prosecutors say what happened next could have seriously hurt Schumer, a top Democratic lawmaker who currently serves as Senate Majority Leader.

[Pruitt] then continued towards the Senate subway. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and his security detail – who had evacuated the Senate chamber – climbed a ramp to the elevators in the northern part of the visitors’ center. A member of the security service saw Pruitt approach. As a result, Senator Schumer and his security team reversed course, fleeing the elevator and heading back down the ramp. Pruitt exited through a window to leave the building around 2:52 p.m.

Pruitt was arrested that night for violating a curfew in Washington, and federal charges were filed against him the following day. He was granted provisional release, but was returned to prison in January after multiple violations.

In a victim impact statement, one of the Capitol Police officers assigned to Schumer’s security detail said he was still traumatized by the events of Jan. 6, including the close call with Pruitt.

“Each day I step into our country’s beacon, the United States Capitol, I relive the memories of that day, and none are as impactful as the times I saw Mr. Pruitt approach of us with intent to cause harm to the United States Senate Majority Leader,” said the officer, identified only as ML in court records. “It was only because of our team[‘]s pre-planning for alternate evacuation procedures and quick actions that this impending meeting did not result in bloodshed or serious bodily harm to himself or his conspirator, my teammates, or the Majority Leader of the Senate.

The 55 months issued by Kelly, a Trump appointee, was just short of the 60 months prosecutors had requested in a sentencing note, but within the 51 to 63 months contemplated by his plea deal. The sentence is well over the 36 months that Pruitt had suggested in his memo, but it still exceeds the sentences given to Chansley and Hodgkins.

Chansley, sentenced in November by Ronald Reagan named person Royce Lambert, is still behind bars. Hodgkins, however, has already served his sentence and, in a hearing in July, told the U.S. District Judge Randolph Mossa barack obama named, that he was getting his life back on track.

Kelly also ordered Pruitt to serve three years of probation once released from prison. Pruitt must also pay $2,000 in restitution to the valued $2.7 million in damage to the Capitol building.

[Images via FBI court filings.]

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