Lectern-stealing rioter given harsh sentence by angry judge
Department of Justice

A U.S. Capitol rioter was handed an unusually stiff sentence for stealing House speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Adam Johnson, who was famously photographed carrying the lectern and wearing a broad smile and a Trump cap, was sentenced to 75 days in prison after pleading guilty in November to entering and remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, reported Politico.

“Messages have to be sent,” said Judge Reggie Walton, who warned from the bench that Johnson and the other rioters' conduct was a hazard to the “fundamental fabric of American society."

"That’s what we see in countries, like what we’re experiencing now in Ukraine," Walton said. "That’s where we’re headed if we don’t do anything to stop it."

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Prosecutors had sought 90 days in prison, and the term imposed by Walton is one of the harshest yet for misdemeanor offenders charged in the insurrection.

Johnson, who was 36 at the time, later described his actions as "foolish" and told the court he wanted to accept responsibility for his conduct to serve as a good example to his five children.

The judge urged Johnson to read “How Civil Wars Start” and “The Next Civil War" to learn the dangers of the conduct he and other rioters engaged in after Donald Trump lost the election.

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