Trump Crazed Rioter Sentenced To Prison Over Capitol Attack


23-year-old Maryland resident Matthew Ryan Miller has been sentenced to 33 months, or over two and a half years, in prison after seeking to help lead a charge against police officers defending the Capitol during the Trump-incited January 6 riot early last year. A. Eduardo Balarezo, a lawyer for Miller, said his client was intoxicated at the time of the violence. It’s worth noting that plenty of people get drunk without subsequently helping attack the U.S. Capitol.

Miller pleaded guilty in February of this year to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. At the Capitol, the Justice Department explains, Miller hurled a full beer can towards the Capitol and the police trying to stop the rampaging mob — and it didn’t stop there. Miller then scaled the Capitol plaza’s western walls and helped other riot participants with scaling the walls and otherwise overcoming what the Justice Department referred to as “architectural obstacles” in the way of their ambitions. Subsequently, Miller went to the Lower West Terrace tunnel area — he threw batteries towards the tunnel (and the officers trying to secure it) and sprayed a fire extinguisher at police. After Miller finished with the extinguisher, fellow rioter Robert Palmer picked it up and sprayed the rest of its contents at nearby cops — and then threw the empty canister at police. Palmer has already been sentenced to 63 months in prison.

Miller also helped direct rioters’ push towards officers — “Multiple times, Miller put up his fingers and yelled, “one, two, three, push!”” while around that tunnel area, the Justice Department says. And he wasn’t just on the sidelines yelling without anybody noticing. Apparently after he sprayed that fire extinguisher at officers, some of whom had to fall back, crowd members cheered — seemingly over Miller’s actions.

Prosecutors had hoped for a sentence of 51 months for Miller, but U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss — an Obama appointee — opted to go below non-binding sentencing guidelines apparently relevant to Miller’s case, which called for 41 to 51 months. Miller expressed remorse for his actions, telling Moss: “I’m ashamed to have been so swayed by my shortcomings, addictions and naivete. Sadly, I partook in some idiotic actions that have changed my life forever.” This basic level of apparent understanding of the seriousness of what he did strikingly contrasts with what Trump himself has shown — Trump still seems unwilling to fully acknowledge the seriousness of the riot. He even said he’d be inclined to pardon rioters if he becomes president again. Moss indicated his decision-making regarding Miller’s sentence was affected by his remorse, age, and intoxication level. “He was barely 22, his judgment was still developing,” the judge said. The total number of arrests of Capitol rioters has surpassed 800. Soon, the House panel investigating the riot will hold public hearings where they’ll aim to lay out Trump’s apparent criminal culpability.

Featured Image (edited): via Blink o’fanaye on Flickr and available under a Creative Commons License