A participant in the early 2021 attack on the Capitol in the name of lies from former President Donald Trump about the then-recent presidential election has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison, NBC reported Thursday. The defendant is Alan Hostetter, the former chief of a local police department in California who evidently carried weapons including a hatchet during the Capitol assault and spoke on camera in support of executions.
And yet, he also has characterized the events of January 6, 2021, as a secret federal operation, even questioning whether deceased January 6 participant Ashli Babbitt, who was shot on the scene, is really dead. Hostetter referenced these conspiracy theories during proceedings on Thursday handling his sentencing. Micki Witthoeft, Babbitt’s mother, actually attended the sentencing hearing and spoke to Hostetter afterwards. “I assure you she is dead,” she remarked, as reported by NBC. “What the f— is it you’re trying to say?” In conversation, Hostetter — who represented himself at trial — remained committed to his unsupported conspiracy theories.
He has also expressed continued support for conspiracy theories asserting that the 2020 presidential election was somehow decided by systematic fraud that handed Democratic contender Joe Biden his victory, something that remains disproved. Conspiracy theories about supposedly secret federal involvement propelling the events of January 6 have been espoused by figures including Reps. Clay Higgins (R-La.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), in addition to businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination. (There’s no indication Ramaswamy or anyone else will come close to defeating Trump in the race for the nomination.)
FBI Director Christopher Wray has flatly denied the myth of secret federal cooperators orchestrating or propelling January 6 in Congressional testimony, though Hostetter’s theories are that as many as thousands secretly cooperating with the government may have been at the Capitol! Federal prosecutors also refuted the conspiracy theories that secret feds orchestrated the day’s events in court. “If the defendant wants to know what would have stopped January 6, he could start by looking in the mirror,” federal prosecutor Anthony Mariano said. Hostetter had said during trial he believed “the entire thing was staged,” according to NBC.