Federal prosecutors are "crushing" it in the January 6 Capitol riot cases, said CBS News' Scott MacFarlane in a video report on Friday explaining the state of the current trials — and it is catching some of the defendants by surprise, and forcing them to display some humility.
"Increasingly, these U.S. Capitol riot trials, several of which are underway right now, have shown a way of humbling the U.S. Capitol riots," said MacFarlane.
First, he said, was today's sentencing of Erik Herrera, the Los Angeles-based Capitol rioter who trashed the Senate Parliamentarian's office and stole a liquor bottle from the room.
"The judge slammed Herrera for making arguments she said she didn't buy, that he was immediately regretful of his actions, that he had come here that day to be a journalist, and a photographer. The judge said the evidence showed otherwise," said MacFarlane. "Herrera went to trial, and he lost, was convicted on all counts, and today, sentenced to 48 months in prison."
Another case with significant developments, MacFarlane continued, was that of Richard "Bigo" Barnett, the Arkansas man who was famously photographed with his feet up on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office desk.
"Barnett has been outside the court almost jovial in mood, smiling, greeting people, showing optimism about his prospects," said MacFarlane. "But late today, the judge asked in so many words to Barnett's defense team, is Mr. Barnett going to take the stand next week at trial? The defense said, we'll figure that over the weekend."
"So many of these defendants, so strident, so vocal after their arrests, and certainly on January 6th itself, have bypassed the opportunity to testify before a D.C. jury," said MacFarlane. "The reality is not lost on anyone. Right now the Justice Department has secured convictions, at least partial convictions, in 100 percent of the January 6th jury trials."
"For defendants, jovial or otherwise, it's a humbling experience," MacFarlane concluded.