Another member of the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 has pleaded guilty to a federal criminal offense. Oklahoma resident Tanner Sells has pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol after a tipster “gave the FBI content from Sells’ Facebook account, and feds ID’d him in surveillance footage holding up his phone,” as explained by reporter Zoe Tillman. Sells is now set to be sentenced for his offense on January 12, and although it’s not immediately clear what that sentence might be, it seems safe to assume that it’ll be on the lower side. The charge to which Sells pleaded guilty is a misdemeanor.
For now, Sells is among the Capitol rioters who’ve been allowed to exit custody ahead of their sentencings or trials. Most defendants have been allowed such freedom, although some accused of physical violence have been among those kept in custody. For example, Maine resident Edward Lang was recently ordered by a judge to be kept in jail ahead of his own trial in the face of charges that he viciously assaulted law enforcement personnel at the Capitol amid the riot. The assaults that he perpetrated against officers included repeated beatings with an aluminum baseball bat, with one of the officers that he targeted left suffering lingering ailments for a month. Lang’s charges are more serious than the charge to which Sells has now pleaded guilty.
NEW: Tanner Sells of Oklahoma pleads guilty in Jan 6 Capitol breach case
Unlawful parading, picketing. Sells acknowledges knowing he knew he did not have permission to enter Capitol on Jan 6
Roughly 12-13% of Jan 6 cases have reached plea deals pic.twitter.com/RALHVXOHXT
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) September 27, 2021
Over 600 people have been charged over their participation in the riot. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has continued to lie that last year’s election was somehow rigged for Biden, a brazenly false claim that originally inspired the violence in January. Trump has also expressed support for those who’ve been charged for their role in the unrest, insisting in a recent statement that observers’ “hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election.” While describing what took place on January 6 as merely a “protest” is obviously ridiculous, the statement nonetheless shows Trump’s open affinity for those who, in reality, perpetrated political violence targeting the nation’s democratic process itself.