"Many politicians write a false story about what happened," said District Judge Thomas Hogan, a former President Ronald Reagan. "I think they are misleading people ... I'm terribly afraid that people are going to follow the false narrative."
Hogan added that he was concerned about whether defendants on January 6 "do not take responsibility for what their role was and what they could do after the next election," calling the riots an "unforgivable" day that will "affect this land for many years ". . "
The comments came during a sentencing hearing for defendant Jacob Wiedrich, who pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally demonstrating in the Capitol. Wiedrich was sentenced to three years probation, so he would be monitored through the 2024 presidential election "to make sure you do not fall victim to false gods again."
Many judges have debated whether to send defendants who were not violent or destructive on January 6 to jail and questioned how conscious the troublemakers are about the seriousness of the attack.
"I hope you understand that you need to learn information fully, that you need to read both sides and not fall for false information when making your policy decisions," Hogan said as he handed down the verdict. "It's really hard for me not to send all these people to jail to have some time to think and reflect a little bit, to consider what policy they are following, to reflect on what they think is true."
Wiedrich, who was 23 when he stormed the Capitol, admitted to walking through the building for 20 minutes on January 6th. Prosecutors claim he posted videos of himself screaming "we ride for Trump, we die for Trump" at the Capitol, shouting at 6 p.m. police.
Wiedrich is also said to have stolen a decorative American flag, although he pleaded not guilty to any theft, and prosecutors said during the hearing that the flag has since been returned.