More than a year after capturing national notoriety as the MAGA rioter who wore a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie on January 6, Robert Keith Packer has plead guilty to the lightest of charges, a misdemeanor of “parading” at the Capitol.
“(Packer) could face up to six months in prison when he is sentenced in April, though many defendants who pleaded to the same charge and are not accused of violence received much less or no jail time.”
If that’s the case, Packer’s case would serve as a prime example of how far punishment of the insurrectionists has fallen below public expectations in the aftermath of the riot just a year ago. If his wasn’t a hate crime, it’s hard to imagine what would qualify as such.
More from CNN:
“An image of Packer inside the Capitol went viral on social media during the riot, sparking shock and outrage. The black sweatshirt had a graphic image of a skull and crossbones and bore the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II -- most of them Jews. The bottom of his shirt read, "Work brings freedom," which is the rough translation of the phrase "Arbeit macht frei" that was on the concentration camp's gates.”
If that weren’t enough, CNN also reports that “when FBI agents searched Packer's home after his arrest in January, they found swastika artwork, a folder titled 'Whites Only Material,' and pictures of Hitler and other Nazi imagery, according to court documents."
Packer is now free pending sentencing. The light punishment that apparently awaits him will likely not connect any dots between his Nazi sympathies and how he spent his 20 minutes illegally storming the U.S. Capitol.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Packer was allegedly part of the group that moved toward the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish.
“Mr. Packer has agreed to talk with the FBI about the events of that day and allow the FBI to peruse any social media accounts he might have,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst told U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, at the hearing.
“Furst outlined Packer’s actions at the Capitol that day. Prosecutors say Packer drove from his home in Newport News, Virginia, in order to attend Trump’s so-called “Stop the Steal” rally. He then joined the pro-Trump mob and entered the Capitol building itself, despite seeing broken windows and tear gas being deployed by police.
“Furst said that Packer was in the Capitol building for around 20 minutes. He was present when a crowd of rioters breached a police line, and was part of the group that broke apart and took Pelosi’s nameplate. He also went to Statuary Hall.
“At the time the defendant entered the building, he knew that he did not have permission to enter the building,” Furst said.
“The parading and picketing charge has become the predominant charge to which Jan. 6 defendants have pleaded guilty. Sentences have ranged from probation to the maximum six months’ incarceration. Defendants that received the six-month jail sentence received credit for time served; so far, the longest jail term for a defendant not previously detained was three months behind bars.
Packer had also been charged with disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without authority. Those charges will presumably be dropped at Packer’s sentencing hearing, set for April 7.”
You can read the FBI criminal complaint against Packer here.