Trump fan admits dragging police officer on Capitol steps

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WASHINGTON — A man who wore a “Trump 2020” hat as he punched an officer and dragged another down the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty, admitting to telling officers “you’re going to die tonight” and assaulting the police several times.

Jack Wade Whitton, 32, of Georgia, boasted in a message obtained by the government that he had “fed” a cop “to the people”. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers with a dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. His estimated sentencing guidelines are 6.5 to 8 years in federal prison, but could be slightly lower if a judge agrees with Whitton’s claim that none of his victims were physically restrained during the sentence. ‘assault.

Jack Wade Whitton at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.United States District Court for DC

Whitton admitted he was one of the Jan. 6 rioters who assaulted police in the tunnel on the west side of the US Capitol, where some of the most violent attacks took place.

Whitton admitted hitting an officer with a crutch while the officer was on the ground, kicking another officer, then dragging the officer he hit with a crutch down the stairs into a prone position . Other rioters then beat the officer with a pole and baton.

Whitten then returned to the police line about 20 minutes later, kicked officers, kicked a riot shield held by an officer and shouted “you’re going to die tonight” , he acknowledged in his plea.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who accepted Whitton’s plea, had ordered Whitton’s detention ahead of his trial, citing the nature of the crime as well as former President Donald Trump’s comments on the election . Sullivan said he was “not convinced that the discontent and concerns about the legitimacy of the election results have dissipated for all Americans,” and said Trump’s comments exacerbated the situation.

Trump’s comments, Sullivan wrote, “reflect the continued threat posed by individuals like Mr. Whitton, who has demonstrated a willingness and ability to engage in extreme and terrifying levels of violence against the forces of the war.” order with a chilling disregard for the rule of law and the lives of law enforcement, seemingly based on mistaken beliefs about the illegitimacy of the current administration.”

Whitton pleaded guilty on the same day that three other Capitol rioters were convicted in a bench trial of assaulting officers. Two of those defendants were acquitted by Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden of a charge of obstructing an official process.

Jack Wade Whitton.
Jack Wade Whitton at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.United States District Court for DC

Whitton was an early target of the “Sedition Hunters” community that came together online to identify Capitol rioters after Jan. 6. Prosecutors cited the role played by “unknown Twitter users” in tracking his movements using the hashtag #Scallops. The FBI said a confidential source who had known Whitton since high school and visited his Cross Fit gym identified Whitton at the office.

The FBI has arrested more than 850 people in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and prosecutors have secured more than 350 convictions. Hundreds of other Jan. 6 rioters have been identified to the FBI but have yet to be arrested.

A trial for members of the far-right organization Oath Keepers, who face seditious conspiracy charges, is due to start later this month.

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