A Vietnam veteran who participated in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 and allegedly told investigators he urinated on a column while inside the building would not spend time behind bars.
donald trump Support Robert “Bob” Snow, 78, drove more than 15 hours from his home in Arkansas to Washington, D.C. on January 5 to attend the then-president’s so-called “Stop the Steal” rally. He then joined the crowd at the Capitol Building, heading to the Upper West Terrace and cheering the cheering crowd that sought to stop Congress from certifying Joe Bidenin the 2020 presidential election.
He entered the Capitol at 2:15 p.m., just minutes after the building’s initial violent breach, and motioned for other rioters to enter, patting some of them on the back as they entered. . He spent about 45 minutes inside the building, passing through the rotunda, the hall of statues and the gallery of the house on the third floor, where many of the congressional staff officers are located.
He has not been charged with physical violence or property damage, although prosecutors say he witnessed violent clashes between rioters and police, and cheered in support of the crowd.
Snow pleaded guilty in March to the misdemeanor charge of marching, demonstrating or picketing inside the Capitol building. The charge carries a sentence of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Notably, the urination allegation was excluded from both his plea and conviction.
Prosecutors had requested 14 days incarceration, three years probation and 60 hours of community service. Snow had argued that due to his age, health, acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with the government’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, no jail time or surveillance was warranted. .
Per the plea agreement, Snow will pay $500 in restitution for the estimated $2.7 million in damages to the Capitol.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing before the U.S. District Judge Timothy KellyAssistant United States Attorney Alison Prout said that while Snow, despite his old age and ill health, was well enough to make a 30-hour round trip from Arkansas to Washington, stand in the cold for hours at the Trump rally, walk more than a mile to the Capitol, and spending nearly 45 minutes inside the building, he was healthy enough to go to jail.
“[He] doesn’t appear to be significantly limited by his physical abilities in regards to his age or health,” Prout said.
Snow, who served in the armed forces from 1962 to 1968 – including during the Vietnam War – had expressed regret for his role in the riot, and he repeated his apology in court Thursday.
“What started out as a happy patriotic event for me that morning, late afternoon, turned into something very, very dark for the country and now for me personally,” Snow said. . “It was far beyond anything I or anyone could have imagined. It became a nightmare.”
“I searched deep within myself for a reason to find an answer to my question of why,” Snow continued. “Why did I enter that building at that time, that day? »
Snow said he would suffer “personal shame for this mistake for many years to come, maybe even the rest of my life.”
“I offer my sincere apologies to my family, my friends, if any remain, to my community, and even to my nation, and to anyone who was offended by my action,” Snow added.
Kelly, a Trump appointee, called Snow’s apology “full” and said he had seen many of the Jan. 6 defendants who didn’t seem so regrettable.
“You took responsibility in a way that lets me know that you understand what happened and why,” Kelly told Snow.
In the end, Kelly didn’t grant the government’s jail request, but he didn’t go so far as to let Snow off the hook either. He eventually sentenced him to one year probation and 60 hours of community service.
“I think you should make amends by doing community service,” Kelly told Snow.
Twice during the hearing, Kelly told Snow that once he completed his community service, he would be eligible to apply for an end to his probation before the 12 months were up.
In delivering his sentence, Kelly responded to Snow’s stated concern about the legacy he would leave behind.
“We are a second-chance country,” Kelly said. “We are a country [that gives] people have ample opportunity to make up for the mistakes they make and I think. . . to have honorably righted a mistake you made – a very serious mistake for sure – but to have honorably righted that mistake is something you can be proud of when it comes to your children and grandchildren.
Kelly also discussed Snow’s allegation that he received threats because of his role in the riot and his subsequent arrest.
“Hopefully if what’s happening to you increases in criminality, you’ll continue to report it to law enforcement,” Kelly said. “There is no place for that in our society.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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