A Wisconsin man in his 20s who authorities say repeatedly has bragged or favorably spoken — even after an arrest! — about joining the pro-Trump violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was sentenced this week to just over three years in prison.
At the actual Capitol, he used a chemical irritant against officers. The defendant, Riley Kasper, pleaded guilty late last year to a criminal charge of assaulting police, and besides 37 months in federal prison, Kasper was also given two (subsequent) years of supervised release and $2,000 in financial penalties.
Details indicate that Kasper began his physical confrontations with officers at the Capitol complex before fellow rioters breached the actual building. As recounted in a federal press release, Kasper said the day after the riot to another individual via social media that there was “definitely something satisfying about pepper spraying cops in riot gear and watching them run from you.” He also spoke with seeming flippancy about an officer who he characterized as likely fearing for his life. “I’m pretty sure dude thought he was gonna die that day lol,” Kasper wrote, referring to the officer.
The turnaround in Kasper’s case was on the quicker side, with his initial arrest less than a year ago and his guilty plea in September.
Meanwhile, Trump himself continues facing his own legal hurdles stemming from the same period of time that produced the Capitol riot. Trump recently lost — as a significant share expected — before a three-judge panel on a federal court of appeals to whom he’d argued that presidents should have widely encompassing protections from even the possibility of prosecution for actions taken amid their official responsibilities. Trump was trying to use the arguments to shut down a criminal case from Special Counsel Jack Smith that covers Trump’s post-2020 election attempts to stay in power. Federal prosecutors already have also pointed to the Capitol riot in the course of proceedings.