Capitol Rioter Who Attacked Police Given A Staggering $200,000 In Penalties

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A participant in the pro-Trump crowds that descended on the U.S. Capitol in early 2021 who pleaded guilty to multiple felony offenses was sentenced in recent days to 63 months in prison — or a little over five years.

Defendant Ryan Nichols, who reportedly joined some of the violence that day that transpired in and around the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace tunnel, admitted specifically to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers — both of which prosecutors have used in an extensive number of the criminal cases stemming from the Capitol attack. Staggeringly, Nichols was also given a financial penalty of $200,000 alongside the imprisonment.

Citing the judge, NBC News reported that the fine “was imposed because Nichols did not cooperate with a financial evaluation, and so there is no evidence that he could not pay.” Reportedly, a crowdfunding page offering a chance to support Nichols has already raised, though, more than the penalty amount.

At the Capitol, Nichols was reportedly toting a crowbar. “At approximately 4:01 p.m., Nichols again called for the crowd to push forward, extended his palm, and beckoned with his fingers for a large red canister of O.C. or pepper spray that was being passed through the crowd. Nichols took hold of the canister and delivered two streams of spray into the Tunnel, hitting multiple law enforcement officers,” added federal authorities. He and co-defendant Alex Harkrider eventually entered the Capitol building itself, per the same account. From a window ledge, Nichols shouted out additional attempts at incitement of the crowds around him.

Later on, authorities added that Nichols was glib about the violence, preparing himself for more. “So, yes, I’m calling for violence! And I will be violent!” he said in a social media video, later adding: “So if you want to know where Ryan Nichols stands, Ryan Nichols stands for violence.”

The cloud keeps hanging over all of these proceedings of the multiple proposals from presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump of pardons and other legal assistance for defendants like Nichols if he wins this year’s election. Trump rarely makes any distinction among Capitol riot defendants when talking about these possibilities, seemingly lumping individuals accused of violence — like Nichols — with the rest.