Former police officer Sergeant Thomas Robertson used his training to interfere with officers trying to protect the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
An eight-year prison sentence would be the heaviest ever imposed in connection with the Capitol riot. Guy Reffitt, a Texan who attacked the Capitol in possession of a handgun, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.
Judge Christopher Cooper is due to announce Mr Robertson’s sentence next Thursday. Prosecutors also asked for three years of supervised release after the prison sentence.
Mr Robertson’s lawyer, Mark Rollins, has offered a sentence of 27 to 33 months in prison for his client, but Judge Cooper can do as he sees fit.
A jury found Mr Robertson guilty in April of all six charges against him. He was accused in particular of having interfered with the police and of having entered a restricted area with a dangerous weapon, an imposing wooden stick. He did not speak during his trial.
His lawyers claimed the former member of the US military needed the stick to help him walk because he suffered a hip injury in Afghanistan in 2011, where he was working as a contractor for the secretariat of defense.
In court documents, prosecutors point out that Mr. Robertson embellished his military background by falsely claiming to be a member of the elite Rangers unit and that he falsely told a reporter that he had been decorated after been wounded in battle.
The jurors were able to read the writings put online by Mr. Robertson, in which he stated in particular that he was preparing to participate in a
very effective insurgency.
In a letter to the judge, Mr. Robertson takes full responsibility for his actions on January 6 and
bad choices [qu’il a] facts. He attributes the content of his online comments to a mixture of stress, excessive alcohol consumption and adherence to conspiracy theories.
Mr. Robertson has been incarcerated since he was found in possession of firearms, which violates the conditions of his release after his trial.
About 850 people have been charged with federal crimes for their actions on January 6, 2021. About 350 have pleaded guilty, often to minor charges, and more than 220 have been convicted so far.