Federal judge Reggie Walton ripped a Capitol riot defendant’s actions as “outrageous” during a Friday hearing in which the man pleaded guilty to parading or protesting in the Capitol.
“You’ve disgraced this country in the eyes of the world and my inclination would be to lock you up, but since the government isn’t asking me to do that … I won’t,” Walton, who sits on the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., told Anthony Mariotto. Prosecutors dismissed four other charges against Mariotto in exchange for his guilty plea, Politico reported.
Defendants may receive up to six months in prison for the parading or protesting charge.
NEW: A George W. Bush-appointed judge tore into a Capitol riot defendant today after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses. Judge Reggie Walton suggested he would have sought stiffer pre-sentence punishment than DOJ asked for.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 24, 2021
According to charging documents, Mariotto entered the Senate chamber during the riot. While in the chamber, he took a selfie, which he then posted to Facebook with the caption, “This is our house.”
Sixty-three people, including Mariotto, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot, according to an Insider analysis. Only one defendant pleaded guilty to a felony, and large numbers have not received jail time. More than 650 have been charged. (RELATED: ‘QAnon Shaman’ Reportedly Negotiating Plea Deal Following Mental Health Diagnosis, Lawyer Says)
Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, suggested that American democracy lost credibility due to the riot.
“America was not great on that day and I’m sure when I go to other jurisdictions to say how they can be like America, they’ll say: ‘Why should I want to be like America when you all are trying to tear down your own country.’ I find it very troubling,” he said.
Walton also asked Mariotto what he would think if “the next time around, the Democrats lose the presidency and start a riot.”
“I guess you think that would be all right, in light of what you did, right?”
“No,” Mariotto responded.