Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Politics

Michigan man pleads guilty to U.S. Capitol riot charge, sentenced

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Michigan man who urged his social media followers to “take back our country” before the assault on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Wednesday to time served in pre-trial detention after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

As part of his plea deal, Karl Dresch, 41, of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, agreed to be interviewed by investigators following his expected release from jail Wednesday or Thursday, his lawyer told a federal judge.

Dresch is at least the fourth Jan. 6 defendant to be sentenced, after pleading guilty on Wednesday to a charge of demonstrating in a Capitol building. A federal official said that 28 defendants facing riot-related charges have entered guilty pleas, with sentencing for most still pending.

More than 535 people face charges arising from the riot in which supporters of Donald Trump sought to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory. Before the riot, Trump delivered a speech to supporters repeating his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Dresch had been held in pre-trial detention for six months – the maximum sentence for a conviction on the charge to which he pled guilty. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped four additional charges including a charge of witness tampering.

“You don’t get to call for a war because you don’t like the results of the election,” Jackson said.

Prosecutor Jennifer Blackwell noted that Dresch posted multiple inflammatory social media posts encouraging possible Jan. 6 violence but did not actually engage in violence in the 25 minutes which he spent in the Capitol during the riot.

Judge Jackson said that “While the defendant is a big talker his actions did not match his rhetoric.”

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)

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