Adam Johnson is the Capitol rioter who thought walking around the Capitol building on Jan. 6 with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern was some kind of okay thing to do. His picture, one of the low-conic images from that terrible day, flew all around the internet, and quickly onto the FBI’s public list of people to arrest. Johnson, a Florida stay-at-home dad of five boys, was arrested just three days later on Jan. 9. Maybe it was the fact that he openly bragged that he had “broke the internet,” with the photo of him creeping around like a drunk sports clown holding the lectern.
In November, Johnson pled guilty to “a charge of entering or remaining in a restricted facility” and had two other charges dropped as a part of that deal. Senior District Judge Reggie Walton pointed out an important fact concerning Johnson—and others—who now pretend that they were too stupid to realize what was happening on Jan. 6, as they walked around the Capitol building with things like the House Speaker’s lectern. “What concerns me, sir, is that you were gullible enough to come to Washington, D.C., from Florida based on a lie and the person who inspired you to do what you do is still making those statements, and my concern is that you are gullible enough to do it again.”
Johnson’s sentencing came up on Friday, Feb. 25. Hey, that’s today!
Prosecutors had asked Judge Walton to sentence Johnson to 90 days imprisonment. They also asked for “one year of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, $500 in restitution, and 60 hours of community service.” On Friday, CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane reported that Johnson’s lawyers looked for leniency in sentencing for their client saying that the fact that the photo above had “gone viral” had led to Johnson suffering notoriety. They pointed out that while Johnson had indeed entered the House chambers, as proven by his walking around the goddamn building with the Speaker’s lectern like a clown, he didn’t actually do the breaking down of the doors.
Prosecutors pointed out that Mr. Fun-Times-Misadventure-Guy knew he broke the law, "Johnson ultimately traveled back to Florida via a rental car, as opposed to taking his scheduled flight home, because he knew there likely would be consequences for his unlawful entry into the Capitol.”
One of his two lawyers countered that their client “was lost most of the time,” due to being “disoriented” during the mob violence. Most importantly, his lawyers want the court to know he isn’t a “Proud Boy. He’s not a racist.” In reality’s defense, that’s not what he’s been charged with or anybody said he was guilty of. But it is telling, the fragility of folks clinging to a defense that really has nothing to do with their actions whatsoever.
Johnson also tried to say that he wasn’t there to be violent. In fact, while he walked around with the Speaker’s lectern, he totally had no interest in harming Speaker Nancy Pelosi had she come across his path, "If I did find her, I would ask for a selfie with her, if anything." Prosecutors pointed out that Johnson had admitted to telling others in the riot that a bust of George Washington could be "a great battering ram" to get into the House Chambers. Incongruous to say the least.
After Johnson spoke and apologized and said he had pleaded guilty because he was guilty, Judge Walton spoke, wondering how an educated person could have been a part of what took place on Jan. 6. "How can you consider yourself a role model to those five boys?" the judge asked. He then spoke to what his sentencing could and could not do to help “stem this hostile environment,” before giving Johnson a 75-day prison sentence. According to MacFarlane, with credit for time served, Johnson will spend around 60 days in prison. Walton summed it up: "It's hard, but it's something that has to be done. A message has to be sent."
Johnson will also owe a $5,000 fine for his part in the destruction of federal property.