On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that a growing number of Capitol rioters are begging for mercy and apologizing for their actions as the prospect of criminal prosecution sinks in.
"The helmet-wearing Idaho man photographed dangling by one hand from the Senate's balcony during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol turned himself in six days later," reported Jacques Billeaud and Michael Tarm. "While buckled in the vehicle delivering him to the Boise jail, Josiah Colt made a video apologizing and expressing shame for storming the building."
"A lawyer for Dominic Pezzola, who authorities say is a member of the extremist group Proud Boys and broke a Capitol window with a police shield, said in a filing that his client's incarceration has placed his wife and two children in desperate financial straits," continued the report. "Several workers at a floor installation business Pezzola manages are also out of work because Pezzola is jailed, attorney Jonathan Zucker wrote in a February filing seeking Pezzola's release pending trial. Pezzola, the attorney wrote, was sorry for his actions, which included posting a video giving a triumphant speech inside the Capitol while smoking a 'victory' cigar."
In another case, "The day after Chad Jones allegedly swung a flag pole at police just outside the House chamber, he told a friend he was an 'idiot,' adding he knew he was 'in big trouble,' according to court documents. He was right. A week later a federal complaint charged him with, among other things, using a weapon — the flag pole — to assault an officer. The charges carry a maximum 60 years in prison."
A number of the rioters are likely to be let off, simply because they are only charged with misdemeanors like trespassing, and authorities will seek to prioritize the more violent offenses.