People who play stupid games win stupid prizes, and those words have never been more true than in the case of Mitchell Vukich and Nicholas Perretta. After bragging that they participated in entering the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021 and smoking a joint in the halls of Congress, they learned on Wednesday that the judge they faced was not amused by their adventure.
"This wasn't Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure": Judge sentences pair of Capitol rioters to 30 days behind bars https://t.co/m3z9CuCcHo
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 5, 2022
In fact, both men were held accountable for entering the Capitol Building just like all other insurrectionists, or at least those who committed no violent crimes. After being found guilty, Judge Tanya Chutkan let the men know that she didn’t intend to treat them any differently.
CNN reports that:
‘This wasn’t Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. They came to Washington knowing full well the events of January 6…what you did on January 6. it was no ‘let’s go check out what’s happening…This was a violent attempted overthrow of the government … and it almost succeeded.’
"Despite advising his co-defendant to tell the FBI to 'fuxk off’, Perretta later voluntarily agreed to an interview with the FBI…”
— a line that got edited out of the amended version of DOJ’s sentencing memo for Jan. 6 defendant Nicholas Perretta pic.twitter.com/xyFV5cQAEi
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 3, 2022
Vukich’s lawyer argued that the two men were not present on January 6, 2021 as part of a protest with the mob who tried to overtake the U.S. Capitol Building. Instead, he said that Vukich was simply in the area at the time with a friend who Vukich said he took out for the day to cheer him up after the COVID-19 lockdowns. No one was surprised to learn that Vukich, the man pictured in a Q-Anon t-shirt during the insurrection, was there in support of Trump to protest, which he later admitted to according to court documents
‘The defendant entered the U.S. Capitol Grounds on January 6, 2021 with Nicholas Perretta. He witnessed individuals bypassing barriers and police officers. He witnessed flashbangs and tear gas. He was 50 yards away when he witnessed someone in the crowd push an officer down while others in the crowd immediately helped the officer get up. The defendant then entered the U.S. Capitol Building with Nicholas Perretta…The defendant knew at the time he entered the U.S. Capitol Building that he did not have permission to enter the building and the defendant paraded, demonstrated, or picketed.’
The Department of Justice has recommended a one-month sentence for the two men, who do not appear to have committed any acts of violence during the insurrection. Although Perretta bragged that he was one of the first fifteen rioters to enter the Capitol Building and was sprayed with tear gas and hit with rubber bullets (which he texted as a boast followed by an “lol”), he and his friend have not been accused of a felony or even a violent crime.
‘While federal judges have taken different approaches to sentencing non-violent rioters that have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, Chutkan has sent all eight of the misdemeanor defendants she has sentenced so far to jail for between 14 to 45 days.’
Some background on how these cases have played out before Judge Tanya Chutkan before: https://t.co/fDg4vhwStN
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 5, 2022