Trump Insurrectionist Sentenced To 14 Months Of Prison Over Jan 6


58-year-old Texas resident Troy Anthony Smocks has been sentenced to 14 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release in connection to the Capitol riot. Smocks, whose attorney claimed that he did not enter the Capitol during that riot, traveled to D.C. around the time of the day’s events (which also included an outdoor rally with an appearance by then-President Trump) and repeatedly posted violent threats towards government leaders on the right-wing social media site known as Parler. Smocks was subsequently charged with one felony count of transmitting threats in interstate commerce, to which he eventually pleaded guilty. His sentence is the longest for any riot-related case so far.

Smocks received his sentence from U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who once again handed down a sentence higher than what prosecutors sought, which in this case was around 8 to 10 months, which would be roughly equivalent to time that he’s already served behind bars. Smocks has been in custody since his January arrest, and he is getting credit for the time that he’s already spent in prison. Smocks’s posts — made at least in part while in D.C. — were specific. In one, he proclaimed that “Many of us will return on January 19th, 2021, carrying our weapons in support of Our nation’s resolve, to which the world will never forget. We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match.” He also called on readers of another post to “hunt these cowards down like the Traitors that each of them are.”

Notably, Smocks — who is Black — raised the argument that he was facing unfair treatment because of his race, pointing out how white rioters had been dealt lesser sentences for similar actions. Chutkan, who is also Black, rejected this argument, telling Smocks that “Coming into this courtroom and trying to make yourself out to be a victim of racism… I find that offensive.” Chutkan also said that she “listened to every word Mr. Smocks said, and nowhere did I hear a single word of remorse.” Smocks has a lengthy criminal history, and he finished his last period of supervised release in 2019.

This instance is the at least fifth time that Chutkan has sentenced a riot defendant to a stricter punishment than what prosecutors sought. She sentenced Robert Bauer and Edward Hemenway to 45 days in prison apiece, although the government had been after 30 days behind bars for each of them, and she sentenced Indiana resident Dona Bissey and Texas resident Matthew Mazzocco to 14 and 45 days in prison, respectively. Prosecutors had sought three years of probation for Bissey and three months of house arrest for Mazzocco. In Mazzocco’s proceedings, Chutkan insisted that there “have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government beyond sitting at home.”