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Jan. 6 rioter claims he was 'manipulated,' requests early release

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A rioter at the Jan. 6, 2021, rally at the Capitol said he was “manipulated” into participating in the riot and requested an early release in a filing Monday.

Mitchell Todd Gardner II said he was influenced by “powerfully influential people” and “outlets” like Fox News that “encouraged” his actions at the Capitol insurrection in the Monday filing, obtained by NBC News. He pleaded guilty to charges by federal prosecutors in June 2022 in relation to his actions on Jan. 6.

“If these influential individuals had not peddled such fraudulent claims he would have been there for his grandparents that both passed away on this year,” according to Monday’s filing. “In addition to this he would have been in the lives of his children both physically and [financially] to support them from home.”

Gardner also requested that the court grant him “the reduction of sentence to time served with the remainder of his sentence to be served in home confinement or in the alternative release.” 

According to court records, Gardner, while on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol during the riots, was in a mob and shouted such things as “drag them out,” “pull the cops out” and “fight for Trump.” He also reportedly urged other rioters to use a ladder to break a Capitol window.

A few days after Gardner’s filing, a mother and son who helped in the theft of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) laptop during the insurrection were both sentenced to five years of probation. The mother and son and Gardner are among more than 1,200 people who have been charged in connection with the breach of the Capitol almost three years ago.


Source: The Hill

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