- A Capitol rioter who said he was “just there to go to the bathroom” was sentenced to 3 months in jail.
- Robert Reeder, 55, told FBI investigators he was an “accidental tourist” on January 6.
- He was originally to be sentenced in August, but prosecutors found new evidence.
A Capitol rioter who repeatedly said he was “just there to go to the bathroom” — despite video evidence that appears to show him push a police officer — was sentenced to three months in jail.
Robert Reeder, 55, told FBI investigators he was an “accidental tourist” at the Capitol on a simple excursion to Washington, DC, to see then-President Donald Trump speak. Reeder’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, wrote in a filing that his client planned to visit the monuments in the city until he learned about a group of people traveling to the Capitol building after Trump’s speech.
Bonsib said his client is a Democrat — though “not politically active” — who accidentally ended up on January 6 grouped with “views he abhors.” Reeder’s Facebook history prior to January 6 paints a different picture about his views: Reeder wrote about “POS liberals,” saying “this time the conservatives will stand their ground and the radicals will die.”
Reeder pleaded guilty in June to picketing inside the Capitol and was originally scheduled for sentencing in August.
However, the date was postponed after investigators discovered videos they say show him shoving a police officer right outside the building. Prosecutors originally requested a two-month sentence for Reeder but upped their request to a six-month sentence after the evidence was brought to light.
US District Judge Thomas F. Hogan admonished Reeder on Friday during his sentencing, saying he was not truthful with investigators about his participation on January 6, saying that he was no ordinary tourist.
“I find your statements to the FBI to be self-serving and disingenuous, frankly,” the judge said.
Judge Hogan further noted that many of the Capitol rioters sentenced thus far have expressed a severe lack of contrition, despite their guilty pleas.
“It’s become evident to me in the riot cases, many of the defendants who are pleading guilty are not truly accepting responsibility,” Hogan said. “They seem to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly as possible.”
Despite the additional evidence showing Reeder pushing an officer, Hogan only sentenced Reeder to three months in jail along with a $500 restitution fee to cover damages to the Capitol.
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