The Florida man who sprayed police officers with a fire extinguisher before throwing it at them during the Capitol riot has been given the harshest sentence yet – more than five years – for his actions on January 6.
Robert Palmer, 54, from Largo, Florida, was sentenced on Friday to 63 months in jail for his involvement in the January 6 riot, where he assaulted police officers with a fire extinguisher and hurled wooden boards at them.
The sentencing memo, written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Juman, detailed how Palmer had pushed himself to the front of the crowd and had thrown wooden boards at police before retreating after being pepper sprayed.
He later returned with a five-foot pole that he hurled at police. He could also be seen in pictures taken during the riot holding a ‘Biden is a Pedophile’ sign.
He was given almost two years more then the next longest sentence of 41 months, which went to Jacob Chansley, 34, known as ‘QAnon Shaman,’ who famously wore a horned headdress and went shirtless at the Capitol.
Robert Palmer, 54 (pictured), was sentenced to 63 months on Friday for his involvement in the January 6 riot
Palmer threw wooden boards, a pole and a fire extinguisher at police
Prosecutors said Palmer (circled) pushed him way to the front of the crowd when he attacked police officers
Palmer is the first to be sentenced for the violence cited in the Lower West Terrance tunnel in the Capitol after he pleaded guilty on October 4.
Police were forced to battle rioters for several hours and two Metropolitan police officers were badly injured.
The Justice Department recommended a 63-month sentence, citing that it was a lower sentence for his crimes, because Palmer – who turned himself in – collaborated with law enforcement earlier on, although they still recommended ‘significant term of imprisonment.’
‘[The] defendant’s repeated violent assaults on law enforcement for the purpose of overturning a democratic election warrant a significant term of imprisonment,’ Juman wrote in the sentencing memo.
‘A 63-month sentence reflects the gravity of Palmer’s conduct, his lack of remorse, and the need to deter Palmer and others from similar conduct in the future, while at the same time recognizing Palmer’s early decision to plead guilty and avoid the need for a trial.’
The sentencing memo also used quotes from Republican Representative Stephanie Murphy, 43, who was hiding inside the West Terrance tunnel during the attack.
‘While you were holding back the mob at the Lower West Terrace entrance, I was holed up with Congresswoman Kathleen Rice in a small office about 40 paces from the tunnel that you all were in,’ Murphy said at a July hearing.
Murphy is also on the committee that is looking into the attack.
Earlier this week, Palmer apologized for his actions.
The Department of Justice recommended a 63 month sentence for Palmer (circled), a lesser sentence for his crimes, due to him turning himself in early and cooperating with police
He has been given the longest sentence of all those prosecuted for the riot
Palmer, who claimed he had been shot with rubber bullets ‘just for yelling at the [police]’ – the DoJ’s memo claimed Palmer was trying to make himself look like ‘a victim’ – has now said he realizes that Trump was lying about the election result and offered his ‘most sincere and deepest apologies.’
‘Little did I realize that they were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost,’ he wrote in a November 12 letter to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ahead of his sentencing.
‘Trump supporters were lied to by those that at the time had great power, meaning the then-sitting president, as well as those acting on his behalf.’
‘They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny,’ he added in the letter, which was obtained by Huffpost.
His letter of apology is an about-face from his Facebook posts before and after the riot.
‘In the event of a Civil War, I’m not afraid of the 81 Million Biden Voters,’ he posted on January 12. ‘Half are dead and don’t exist!’
He wrote in a letter to US District Judge Tanya Chutkan ahead of his sentencing, writing: ”Little did I realize that they were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost. Trump supporters were lied to by those that at the time had great power, meaning the then-sitting president, as well as those acting on his behalf’
No police officers were injured by Palmer, but the DOJ wants him locked up for more than five years because his actions were intended to cause ‘serious bodily injury.’
Jacob Chansley, 34, has the second-longest sentence with 41 months
Palmer is one of at least 185 people charged with assaulting or impeding police on January 6 as throngs of people stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley and Scott Fairlamb have so far received the longest prison time – both given 41 months – of the 45 people who have been sentenced.
Chutkan has been known to give out stiffer sentences to rioters than what has been requested by prosecutors.
‘There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government beyond sitting at home,’ Chutkan said in October.
‘The country is watching to see what the consequences are for something that has not ever happened in the history of this country before,’ she added.