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Capitol assailant sentenced to seven years in prison for assaulting a police officer | International

Mike Fanone (right) is supported by Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell as he leaves the trial.
Mike Fanone (right) is supported by Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell as he leaves the trial.KEVIN LAMARQUE (REUTERS)

Kyle Young, a 38-year-old air conditioner installer from Iowa, came to Washington on January 6, 2021 at the call of Donald Trump. He recruited some friends on Facebook and even took one of his four 16-year-old children on the trip. When the rally of the still president of the United States to which, along with thousands of supporters, he had been summoned to “stop electoral theft” ended, he marched towards the Capitol. He used a strobe light to disorient the police guarding the building where Joe Biden’s legitimate electoral victory was being certified, he collaborated in throwing a huge loudspeaker at the agents and detained one of them, Michael Fanone, while another insurrectionist, Danny Rodriguez , whose trial is scheduled for 2023, applied electric shocks that almost killed him with a device provided by Young. This Tuesday, he has been sentenced to seven years and two months in prison for those events.

Young had pleaded guilty to felony counts of assault, resisting and obstructing security forces tasked with defending the Capitol from the mob. His lawyer excused him by saying that he had been “injected with lies” about the alleged Democratic fraud in the 2020 presidential election, lies that Trump and his supporters have not yet gotten rid of.

The assaulted policeman, Michael Fanone, is one of the best-known faces among the victims of January 6. After two decades of service in the Washington police, he was about to lose his life one day when the city expected to attend a peaceful democratic process: the assumption of the defeat of the outgoing president and the recognition in Congress of the victory of the new tenant of the White House. More than 140 of his companions ended the day injured. Four committed suicide in the days after the attack, according to the authorities, due to the consequences of having lived through those hours. Fanone suffered a heart attack and head injury, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the videos presented as evidence, Fanone is seen in the access tunnel to the Capitol on its west side, lost in the middle of the violent crowd. Also, how Young grabs him by the wrist to prevent him from taking his gun, while Rodriguez repeatedly electrocutes him and shouts of: “Kill him with his own gun!” are heard.

The victim signed an opinion article on the CNN website on Monday, where, since January 6, he has worked as a collaborator on “law enforcement” matters. “I’ll be there [cuando se dicte sentencia contra Young] to look him in the eye and seek justice,” Fanone wrote. And that is exactly what he has done this Tuesday. When it was his turn to speak at the trial, held in the District of Columbia court, he wished the defendant to suffer in jail. One of the attendees, a supporter of the Capitol attackers, then called the policeman a “piece of shit,” according to witnesses.

This Tuesday, another of those involved in the January 6 incident, John Strand, was also found guilty in Washington of the five charges of which he was accused. Strand is now awaiting sentencing, for which he could face up to 24 years in prison.

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sedition trial

The potential penalty is so severe (so far, the one who has suffered the worst this September has been a former police officer: sentenced to 10 years) because he did not want to accept an agreement with the prosecution. He decided to fight for his innocence, despite the fact that on January 6 he wrote the following message: “WE ASSAULT THE CAPITOL [sic]It’s crazy.” A model and conspiracy theorist on the pandemic, Strand uses his social networks to denounce his persecution, a fight between David (him) and Goliath (the Department of Justice), and he even created a website, which is hard to believe is not a skit, to raise money, in which he is seen posing fashion with the mob and the Capitol behind, accompanied by messages like “From Gucci to Guilty” (from Gucci to guilty).

Stewart Rhodes, in an interview with the US Congressional committee investigating on January 6.
Stewart Rhodes, in an interview with the US Congressional committee investigating on January 6.Andrew Harnik (AP)

The other news on the insurrection front in the United States capital has been the start of the trial for sedition of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the far-right militia Oath Keepers, and four of his cronies. The prosecution will try to convince the jury, whose composition has occupied the first day of the process on Tuesday, that they instigated an “armed conflict” on January 6 to ensure that Trump remained in power.

The trial is expected to last five weeks, during which 40 witnesses will be heard and 800 statements from the accused will be made available to the jury, as well as tens of thousands of messages, hundreds of hours of recordings and phone calls and records. financial. Three members of Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty, and are collaborating with justice.

Rhodes and the other defendants — Kelly Meggs, Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins and Kenneth Harrelson — are the first people in more than 10 years to be charged with a federal felony seditious conspiracy under a law dating back to the days of the civil War. He carries up to 20 years in jail.

The congressional committee investigating January 6 adjourns its ninth session

Michael Fanone has been a constant presence in the hearings that have been held since last June in Congress to clarify the events of January 6. At the end of each of them, he has taken his time to speak with the press that covers them and analyze the revelations that were coming out. To one of them, he went accompanied by the actor Sean Penn.

The ninth of those sessions, which was not yet clear as to whether it would be the last, was to be held this Wednesday in Washington. Finally, the call was postponed sine die early Tuesday afternoon.

The committee released a statement, signed by its chair, Bennie G. Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, and its vice chair, Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming: “In light of Hurricane Ian battering parts of Florida, we have decided to postpone morning. We are praying for the safety of all those who are in the path of the storm. The investigation is continuing and we will announce a date for the postponed proceedings soon.” It so happens that Democrat Stephanie Murphy, one of her nine members, seven Democrats and two Republicans, is a representative for the State of Florida, where she traveled this Tuesday.

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