As long as the Justice Department keeps serving up these January 6 riot convictions, we’ll keep trying to knock them out of the park. The next defendant to face the music for his heinous crimes was Joshua Pruitt, a 40-year-old Maryland man who entered the Capitol Building during the course of the riot. Pruitt received very special attention from both the Department of Justice and the press because of his alleged “affiliation” with the Proud Boys. He also holds the distinction of being the only rioter to come within visual distance of a Senator, specifically Chuck Schumer. While nothing actually happened during that “encounter” (as the Associated Press puts it), he was given 55 months in prison and three years of supervised release. As usual, we will review the details of what Pruitt actually did or did not do.
A Maryland man affiliated with the far-right Proud Boys extremist group was sentenced on Monday to more than four years in prison for storming the U.S. Capitol, where authorities say he encountered Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as his armed security detail led the New York Democrat to safety.
Joshua Pruitt, 40, was one of the few Capitol rioters to come face-to-face with a member of Congress during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by a mob of Donald Trump supporters, according to federal prosecutors.
“One look at Pruitt, and the leader of Senator Schumer’s security detail immediately saw the threat and hustled the 70-year-old senator down a hallway, having to change their evacuation route on a dime,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Loeb wrote in a court filing ahead of Monday’s hearing.
I included the third paragraph in the excerpt above to demonstrate the melodrama on display by the prosecution and the press, but the underlying substance of the charge is pretty much nonexistent. Based on the descriptions offered by the prosecution, Pruitt attended the rally at the White House on January 6 and then made his way to the Capitol complex. He arrived during a lull after the initial rioters broke through the windows and doors, but before the Capitol Hill Police established lines with riot shields to keep more people from entering. Pruitt basically just walked in unimpeded.
A big deal is being made of Pruitt’s “association” with the Proud Boys and he was apparently a fan and had exchanged social media messages with some of them. But he was not in Washington as part of some planned Proud Boys attack squadron. So what did he do when he got inside? He began walking around. Then, at one point, he reached a hallway where Chuck Schumer was being escorted through by his armed security guard. (That emphasized bit is important.) Upon seeing the group, Pruitt began walking – not running – toward them.
That’s when Schumer’s detail hit the panic button, later testifying that “one look” at Pruitt was all it took to “see the threat.” We should note at this point that Joshua Pruitt was unarmed. He didn’t even have a pole to try to hit anyone with as Mark Ponder did, getting a slightly longer sentence than Pruitt for his efforts. No words were exchanged between Schumer’s detail and Joshua Pruitt. The armed detail simply rushed Schumer away from the unarmed, middle-aged, casually strolling pedestrian, went through another door and locked it behind them. Pruitt turned around and walked down another hallway before leaving the complex.
That was it. That was the entire event. Nobody reported seeing Joshua Pruitt do anything other than walking around for a while. And he “encountered” Chuck Schumer, who he did not recognize. Did he trespass inside the Capitol Hill complex? He most certainly did. Pruitt basically did the same thing that Stephen Colbert’s production crew did last month, and they were most certainly doing their level best to “encounter” Marjorie Taylor Greene. Of course, Colbert’s crew was released without bail and no charges were filed.
We’re continuing to see the sentencing phases of these trials being used to make a mockery of the justice system. It’s being done when people who have committed far more violence while rioting never see a day in court because they come from politically favored groups that are supported by the Democrats. And most of the mainstream media is going along with it and lapping it up.