Jan. 6 Rioter Gets 14 Years for Police Attacks, Longest Sentence Yet in Inquiry
Prosecutors noted that Mr. Schwartz was already on probation in at least one other case involving charges of assault and illegal firearms possession. Mr. Schwartz has had nearly 40 prior convictions over more than 30 years for crimes such as assault or threatening officers.
More than two years after the attack, prosecutors told Judge Mehta, Mr. Schwartz showed no remorse for his actions, giving several interviews in which he claimed to be the victim of a biased prosecution. During one interview, Mr. Schwartz called the trial “the biggest sham I’ve ever seen in my life.”
At the hearing, Mr. Schwartz’s lawyer, Dennis Boyle, argued that his client had been steered to the Capitol on Jan. 6 by the lies about fraud in the 2020 election told by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies. Mr. Schwartz knew little about the presidential race and got his information from bad media sources, the lawyer said, adding that the sentence prosecutors requested “reeks of revenge and retribution.”
“There remain many grifters out there who remain free to continue propagating the ‘great lie’ that Trump won the election, Donald Trump being among the most prominent,” Mr. Boyle wrote in court papers filed last month. “Mr. Schwartz is not one of these individuals; he knows he was wrong.”
Mr. Schwartz offered only a single sentence in his statement to the court, which he read off a sheet of paper from the defense table.
“I do sincerely regret the damage that Jan. 6 has caused to so many people and their lives,” he said.
But Judge Mehta seemed unconvinced, noting Mr. Schwartz had continued to appear on podcasts after his conviction, insisting that police had attacked him outside the Capitol and dismissing the charges against him as politically motivated.
“I appreciate you saying what you did today, but I don’t believe it,” Judge Mehta said.
About 450 of the more than 1,000 people charged so far in connection with the Capitol attack have been sentenced. Of those, the Justice Department says, slightly more than half have been ordered to serve at least some time behind bars.