Florida resident and Trump supporter Robert Palmer has been sentenced to over 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon during the violence at the Capitol in January. He is apparently the second individual charged with assaulting police to be sentenced, and his sentence — which, to be exact, is 63 months — is the longest that has been given to any Capitol rioter so far. During the attack on the Capitol by the then-president’s supporters, Palmer threw items including an empty fire extinguisher and a wooden plank at police officers.
NEW: Robert Palmer, who assaulted police on Jan. 6, is sentenced to 5 years, the toughest sentence yet.
He wrote to the judge: “Trump supporters were lied to… They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny."
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) December 17, 2021
Palmer originally faced sentencing guidelines that called for less than his slated time in prison, but while in custody, The Washington Post notes how Palmer set up an online fundraising effort claiming that he had gone “on the defense” when he threw a fire extinguisher canister at police at the Capitol. Although he had claimed otherwise, the truth is that Palmer hadn’t been hit with a single rubber bullet as of the point when he hurled certain items, including the fire extinguisher, at police, and federal Judge Tanya Chutkan — who handled his sentencing — raised his sentencing guidelines to call for a range of 63 to 78 months in response to the lie.
Now: Judge Tanya Chutkan sentences Robert Palmer, who pleaded guilty to assaulting police at the Capitol on Jan. 6 with a fire extinguisher and wooden plank, to 63 months in prison. It's the longest prison sentence handed down in connection with the insurrection to date.
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) December 17, 2021
Chutkan — who has repeatedly instituted sentences for rioters in lower-level cases that were tougher than those requested by prosecutors — commented as follows to Palmer this week:
‘Look behind you. Those are U.S. marshals. They ran from this courthouse. They put themselves in danger to protect the occupants of the Capitol. That’s what they’re sworn to do. They’re the patriots. The people working in the Capitol that night, they are patriots. Doing what they get paid to do, they didn’t know if they were going to come out of there alive that night… The men and women who kept democracy functioning that day, and saved lives, they deserve the thanks of the nation. They didn’t deserve to have fire extinguishers thrown at them; they didn’t deserve to be spat on. Perhaps, having seen yourself on videotape and media coverage, you understand how terrified the rest of this country must have been.’
Longest sentence yet for a 1/6 defendant. Robert Palmer, who pleaded guilty but then lied about his conduct in an online fundraising plea, gets 5 years + for assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon (a fire extinguisher) b/c judge finds didn't accept respons.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) December 17, 2021
Palmer has expressed remorse for his actions, saying that he’s “really, really ashamed of what I did,” and admitted that his claim to have been acting in self-defense when throwing the spent fire extinguisher at police was a lie. Palmer had previously written to Chutkan that he realized that Trump supporters “were lied to by those that at the time had great power, meaning the sitting president as well as those acting on his behalf.” The problem — well, one of the problems — is that ex-President Donald Trump has refused to distance himself from the violence, and instead, he has repeatedly sought to justify what took place, including certain more disturbing elements.
Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, wept as he told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that he recently watched a video of his actions that day and could not believe what he was seeing.https://t.co/uzZulyw8aE
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) December 17, 2021