In the ongoing saga involved in holding the Donald Trump supporters who participated in an attack on the Capitol Building to overturn a democratic election comes 68-year-old Gary Edwards, a Churchville, Philadelphia man who entered the building through a broken window, wandered around, and entered the office of a Democratic lawmaker.
— Valerie Hogan (@ValerieHogan) December 22, 2021
Edwards’ wife accidentally outed him on Facebook, although the two say that Edwards’ trip to Washington, D.C. on January 6 was intended to be so that he could attend the Trump rally. No intentions of heading to the Capitol Building or participating in an attack were discussed prior to that time. Although his wife quickly removed the post from Facebook, it was already too late by then an a friend had turned the photos in the post over to federal authorities.
According to The Daily Beast:
‘Edwards’ role in the insurrection was revealed in a hastily deleted Facebook status from his wife, which began: “Okay ladies, let me tell you what happened as my husband was there inside the Capitol.” One of her Facebook friends then forwarded the status to federal agents. “Never in my life could I have dreamed that something I posted on Facebook would be used against my husband, would lead him to be arrested,” Lynn Edwards said in court.’
Judge James Boasberg will sentence Jan. 6 defendant Gary Edwards next hour. The government wants 14 days behind bars for the 68-year-old who entered the personal office of Senator Jeff Merkley. pic.twitter.com/p13vLXtBXB
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 20, 2021
Edwards says he attended the rally and then headed back toward the Capitol to eat his lunch when he saw others headed into the Capitol Building. He entered through the window, helped a fellow insurrectionist who had been pepper-sprayed, took photos, and wandered into the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The judge scolded Edwards, who said he was “ashamed” of his actions, and sentenced him to one year of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a fine of $2,500. He was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution for the damages to the Capitol Building.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said that:
‘There really is no more serious and profound action democracy takes than the certifying of a lawful and fair election. And to the extent anyone would interfere with that, particularly with force of violence, they strike at the root of the democracy.’
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) December 14, 2021
Extensive documentation of Edwards’ time in the Capitol Building was useful in his trial, which showed him present but committing no actual damage or violence on his own.
‘Footage collected by prosecutors shows Edwards entering the breached Capitol around 3:01 p.m. past broken windows and blaring alarms. There, he milled about the halls, flushed tear gas from a fellow rioter’s eyes, snapped photos, and stepped into the trashed office of Sen. Jeff Merkley.’
If you took the word of a 5X draft dodger who told you to go to the Capitol and he was going to be there with you. Then he dipped out with Secret Service protection to go watch on television while you committed crimes that landed you in jail…well…MAGA.
— SM (@sensiblemiddle) December 16, 2021