Two more Trump-supporting members of the mob that stormed the Capitol in January have been sentenced to prison, becoming the latest rioters from that day to face sentences that are actually stricter than what prosecutors sought in their particular cases. Now, Robert Bauer and Edward Hemenway, who both pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of illegally parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building, have been sentenced to 45 days in prison apiece. Bauer and Hemenway received these sentences from federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, and they’re the at least third and fourth defendants to face sentences from Chutkan that are tougher than what federal prosecutors requested.
Chutkan pointedly said that Bauer and Hemenway were facing consequences for “a decision to take that protest and turn it into a violent occupation of the US Capitol at a time when we were… attempting the peaceful transfer of power.” Prosecutors were originally after 30 days in prison apiece for the pair, while their defense argued for probation. At one point after the riot, Bauer posted photos showing his presence at the Capitol on Facebook.
Other defendants to receive sentences from Chutkan above what the government sought include Indiana resident Dona Bissey and Texas resident Matthew Mazzocco, who were sentenced to 14 and 45 days in prison, respectively, although prosecutors had sought three years of probation for Bissey and three months of house arrest for Mazzocco. Both Bissey and Mazzocco pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor count to which Bauer and Hemenway pleaded guilty. In Mazzocco’s case, Chutkan insisted that there “have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government beyond sitting at home.”
As for Bauer and Hemenway, reporter Zoe Tillman explains how, at the duo’s sentencing hearing this week, assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Kelley observed how each of them could clearly ascertain the unrest around them at the Capitol but went into the building anyway. In the Capitol, Bauer and Hemenway snapped a selfie with their middle fingers up and joined in a crowd that was belting out chants including “stop the steal” and “our house.” Chutkan observed, in reference to the Capitol building, that the “group that day was there to take it from the people of the United States.” Paul Hodgkins, who pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding and recently began an eight-month prison sentence, carried a Trump flag onto the floor of the Senate during the riot, signifying exactly the sort of thing that Chutkan referenced.