A woman with ties to the Pennsylvania Republican Party who has testified four times before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attacks was sentenced today to a total of 60 days in jail.
Annie C. Howell, 31, of Swoyersville, PA, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan to three years’ probation and 60 days of “intermittent confinement” to be served in 10-day increments at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, the Allentown Morning Call reported today.
“There’s no question in my mind that you joined a group that attempted to overthrow the government,” Hogan said, according to the report. “Jan. 6 was an insurrection that was probably the worst thing that’s happened in our democratic way of life in our history except perhaps the War of 1812.”
In the courtroom, “Howell offered an apology for her conduct, saying she has since seen that what happened was wrong. I sit here crying because I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Howell said. “I was easily manipulated and I’m ashamed at my role.”
She claimed that since the riot, she has experienced a “journey to awareness” and “has remained committed to long term positive change,” including changing her voter registration to independent.”
That contrasted with the FBI’s description of Howell’s conduct on January 6. It stated that she had returned to her hotel room after attending Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally but went to the Capitol after learning that a mob had begun “overrunning police barricades” at the Capitol.
There, prosecutors say, “Howell cheered on attacks on law enforcement and chanted, ‘Whose house? Our house!” and “fight for Trump!’ Passing through clouds of tear gas, Howell eventually entered the Capitol through a broken window. Once in a ransacked conference room, Howell sent a Facebook message saying, ‘I’m inside capital (sic).’ When a Facebook user urged Howell to get out, she refused.
“’No ... No ... They just killex (sic) two (expletive) women ... American women ... No ... I WATCHED THEM DIE ... NO (EXPLETIVE) WAY,” Howell wrote.
She went on to claim Antifa, a left-wing anti-fascist group, was responsible for the breach and made numerous other false allegations, including that the police attacked innocent women and children.”
Howell previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of trespassing on restricted property in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping more serious felony charges against her, including obstructing an official proceeding of Congress.
The judge cited Howell’s testimony before Congress as a factor in her favor at sentencing. Here’s how that was described recently at RawStory.com:
“According to Politico, Howell's cooperation may prove to be incredibly valuable in aiding the committee's work.
"No defendants until Annie Howell have publicly described ties that extend beyond the Jan. 6 attack and reach deeper into GOP establishment circles," the publication writes. "She described selling pro-Trump bracelets on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, Md. in early 2020, which she parlayed into graphic design work for the PA GOP. She then began recruitment work with the party as a volunteer, which led her to be involved in a slew of events with prominent Republicans, saying she was 'surrounded by Congressman, Senators, even Trump advisers.'"
You can read the FBI criminal complaint against Howell here.