BuzzFeed judicial reporter Zoe Tillman noted in a Sunday piece that judges and prosecutors aren't happy about the Republicans claiming Jan. 6 insurrectionists were "tourists."
Robert Reeder was one of the attackers who told the court in April that he was nothing more than an "accidental tourist with a phone trying to document everything."
Prosecutors characterized Reeder as "a rioter violating the law; not a journalist; not a tourist." Tillman described the prosecutors' brief as a slam on Reeder's lack of remorse despite the fact that he agreed to a plea deal where he would own his guilt. Prosecutors objected when Reeder's lawyer attempted to characterize his client as a "lost tourist" and an "innocent and unlucky tourist."
It was Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) who claimed that if Americans didn't know anything about the Jan. 6 attack that the video would look like nothing more than a normal tourist visit and that those breaking through the glass, doors, tearing apart offices, urinating and defecating on the floors and hunting elected officials were being orderly.
"Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol, and walk through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures, you know," Cylde claimed.
Reeder was in the process of trying to get a lighter sentence as a "tourist" when a new video was discovered by an activist group searching through photos and videos of Jan. 6 to identify those in the crowd. The Sedition Hunters found Reeder attacking police officers.
"The Defendant was not an innocent and unlucky tourist," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein wrote in the brief, "he was an active participant in criminal behavior against a sitting branch of government."
Reeder isn't the only one trying the "tourist" tactic. Leonard Gruppo of New Mexico did as well when he appeared before U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell. So did Joshua and Jessica Bustle, appearing in a Virginia court.