A Mississippi man named James McGrew was sentenced on Friday to six and a half years in federal prison by Judge Beryl Howell for participating in the 2021 assault on the Capitol driven by Donald Trump’s incitement and brazen lies.
The sentence was what prosecutors previously sought and follows a guilty plea from McGrew to a charge of assault on police — after which point prosecutors noted McGrew was still dismissive in conversations with federal law enforcement agents about his actions on January 6, as highlighted by journalist Ryan Reilly. “During the interview, McGrew attempted to either justify or deny responsibility for his actions on January 6, including conduct he had admitted to during his Rule 11 hearing,” a government sentencing memo said, describing a sit-down between McGrew and the FBI months after he pleaded guilty. The memo highlighted what prosecutors called a lack of remorse on McGrew’s part for what were repeated — and documented — instances of violence against police.
After repeated physical altercations with police inside of the Capitol, McGrew then joined violence at the Lower West Terrace tunnel, which continues to consistently come up in discussions of some of the most damaging violence seen that day. McGrew hurled what the Justice Department described as a wooden handrail, with metal brackets still affixed, towards police, evidently striking officers. The department noted via a press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., that the railing was nearly as long as McGrew is tall and that he threw it with the metal bracketing facing police. “The handrail appeared to hit the shield or visor of an officer,” that release added.
Like other participants in the day’s chaos, he also took personal footage of the scene in which he shouted in exuberant celebration of what was transpiring. The large number of rioters who have also posted footage like that to social media, helping to incriminate themselves, remains remarkable.
Recently, authorities have also carried out new arrests connected to the riot, like those of three active-duty Marines, all of whom reportedly held positions tied to the intelligence community, including two who were signals intelligence analysts. That group didn’t appear to have been accused of violence, although they evidently went inside the building. Also recently announced were arrests of three additional individuals who participated in violence around that tunnel, including one who was wearing a distinctive, three-pointed hat of a style popular in the 1700s, which sounds in character for these people. A former crew member for a squadron in the U.S. Marines whose responsibilities included presidential travel by helicopter on what is known as Marine One was also recently sentenced to just over a year in prison for joining the riot. That individual served on that team during portions of the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
NEW: DOJ seeking 6.5 years in federal prison for James McGrew, who they said "attempted to either justify or deny responsibility for his actions on January 6" during a FBI interview even after he pleaded guilty. pic.twitter.com/nQAysE69Wg
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) September 29, 2022
Image: Brett Davis/ Creative Commons