Many of the accused and arrested people involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol were captured in photographs and videos either outside the building or inside. Others were shown in police body camera videos and even social media posts from their fellow attackers. But one man, a convicted burglar, told his parole officer that his trip to Washington, D.C. was to help the Gideons International hand out Bibles.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Bryan Betancur is finally admitting that he went to Washington to join members of the Proud Boys in the attack on the Capitol.
According to the plea deal, Betancur went to the rally for former President Donald Trump and stormed the Capitol in the effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election for President-elect Joe Biden.
Betancur was described by the FBI as a white supremacist living with his mother in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is mere miles from the Washington, D.C. line. On Wednesday he was sentenced to just four months behind bars for his participation in the riot.
The main thing that helped the police nab him is that he was wearing an ankle monitor required by probation officials. So, Betancur was tracked from the Ellipse at the White House, marching to the U.S. Capitol, and then to Union Station.
Betancur's lawyer tried a plea that other Jan. 6 attackers have attempted, claiming that he bought into "a falsehood advertised to millions — that former Vice President Mike Pence had the power to overturn the ‘fraudulent election.'" The lawyer also said that Betancur “struggles with mental health issues, which he does not and cannot bring himself to discuss. Instead, he puts on a brave face," the Post reported.
Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by Donald Trump in 2017, has been criticized for handing out low sentences in Jan. 6 cases. In this case, Betancur is going to jail for just four months.
Prosecutor Maria Y. Fedor asked for a six-month term in her sentencing memo, saying Betancur’s Jan. 6 visit to Washington wasn’t the first time he lied to probation officials to get approval to leave Maryland," the report said. "After gaining permission to hand out Bibles for the Gideons in D.C. a month earlier, on Dec. 12, he took part in the Proud Boys’ violent pro-Trump rally in the District that day," Fedor said.