Mob who encountered senator sentenced to more than 4 years in prison

A Maryland man who belongs to the far-right extremist group Proud Boys was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Monday. storming the U.S. Capitol, Officials say they ran into Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as his armed guards led a New York Democrat to safety.

Joshua Pruitt, 40, was one of the few Capitol mobsters to come face-to-face with lawmakers during the January 6, 2021, Donald Trump mob attack, according to federal prosecutors.

“With one glance at Pruitt, Senator Schumer’s security division leader immediately sensed the threat and had to rush the 70-year-old senator into the hallway and quickly reroute the evacuation.” Alexis Loeb, Assistant U.S. Attorney, wrote. It will be filed in court ahead of Monday’s hearing.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Pruitt to four years and seven months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to Bill Miller, spokesman for the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors sentenced Pruitt, a Silver Spring, Maryland resident, to five years in prison for working as a bartender and personal trainer. He explained that his good looks made him the group’s “ideal recruit” on January 6.

Schumer’s security force leader told the FBI that his encounter with Pruitt was a harrowing and unforgettable moment. Pruitt moved forward, and with seconds to go until he reached Schumer, the security detail turned and joined the Senator to leave the elevator and down the ramp.

“At the end of the ramp, officers closed and locked the door. ’” wrote Loeb.

Prosecutors said Pruitt and other prospects and recruits at the local Proud Boys chapter frequently used encrypted communications to discuss the Capitol raid, civil war, and confrontations with police. was They said Pruitt wanted to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

“He personally forced a 70-year-old senator to flee and find another way to safety. Of all the mobs that stormed the Capitol, it’s the notorious difference,” Rove said. is writing

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins Jr. said there was no “direct evidence” that Pruitt worked with members of the Proud Boys to attack the Capitol.

“He admits that as the case unfolded, Mr. Pruitt was overwhelmed by his feelings and genuine belief that the election results were tainted by fraud,” Jenkins wrote. He sought a three-year prison sentence.

Jenkins’ 10-page sentencing memo does not mention Pruitt’s encounter with Schumer, now the Senate Majority Leader.

Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes founded Proud Boys in 2016. Members of the group call it a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western supremacists.” Before the Capitol riots, he was best known for getting into street brawls with anti-fascist activists at rallies and protests.

Dozens of Proud Boys leaders, members and associates have been indicted on charges related to the Capitol riot. Some, including former Proud Boys National Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tario, indicted for conspiracy to sedition Officials say it was a conspiracy to forcibly oppose the legal transfer of presidential power.

Prosecutors called Pruitt “an icon for one of the angry mobs in the Capitol that day.” According to prosecutors, many of the police officers guarding the Capitol on Jan. 6 remembered him as the agitator.

“Wearing knuckle-padded tactical gloves and a raw t-shirt emblazoned with the Punisher logo — an antihero known for dispensing justice for violent vigilantes — Pruitt “He made a calculated choice to use his thick, muscular exterior to communicate with the police. They faced a dangerous person,” Loeb wrote.

Pruitt was on probation and wore an ankle monitor on the day of the riot. He has been incarcerated since a judge ordered him into pretrial detention in January 2022.

Pruitt pleaded guilty in June to felony obstruction of official proceedings, a joint session of Congress to prove President Joe Biden’s victory over Republican incumbent Trump.

More than 860 people have been indicted for federal crimes in the January 6th act. About 400 of them have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial. More than 240 Capitol Riot defendants were sentenced, about half of them from his seven days to seven years in prison.