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Conservative Republican judge to capitol terrorist: “You’ve disgraced this country"

Judge Walton: “America was not great on that day”

... “I find it outrageous that American citizens would do what you did"

A federal judge appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush literally shouted at a defendant who had invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6 of this year in what has been described as a terrorist attack on democracy.

The judge made clear that he was a proud of America and proud of the American government that he was outraged by the actions of Anthony Mariotto and others who had been part of the violent insurrection that led to the deaths of more than five people.

This defendant had taken a photo of himself in the U.S. Congress in which he said, “I’m in … This is our house.”

Judge Reggie Walton

The federal judge did not mince words and even condemned the prosecutors in the case for not recommending a more severe sentence in return for a guilty plea,

A federal judge tore into a low-level defendant in the Capitol Riot Friday, moments after the man entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the Jan. 6 unrest.

“You’ve disgraced this country in the eyes of the world and my inclination would be to lock you up, but since the government isn’t asking me to do that ... I won’t,” U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton shouted at Fort Pierce, Fla., resident Anthony Mariotto during a video hearing. “I find it outrageous that American citizens would do what you did, so you better walk the straight and narrow, sir, you understand?”

“I do, your honor,” Mariotto replied meekly.

Most of Mariotto’s half-hour-long plea hearing was routine in nature, as the judge led the defendant through a fairly standard series of questions about his competence to enter a plea and about the consequences of doing so.

However, as the subject turned to whether Mariotto should be detained pending sentencing, Walton’s voice rose and he unleashed an angry fusillade over the storming of the Capitol earlier this year as lawmakers were preparing to certify Joe Biden’s win in the presidential race.

“I have real concerns about what you and the other people” did, said the judge, an appointee of former President George W. Bush. “It was an attack on our government, and I love my government. This government has been good to me. To see somebody destroy, or try to destroy, the Capitol is very troubling to me.”

Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, “ ‘You’ve disgraced this country’: Judge rips

Capitol riot defendant,” Politico, September 24, 2021

“America was not great on that day”

Walton notes that he travels to other countries to talk about what a great country America is, and now, he will not be able to do that, while also complaining that this could have lasting ramifications,

“America was not great on that day and I’m sure when I go to other jurisdictions to say how they can be like America, they’ll say: ‘Why should I want to be like America when you all are trying to tear down your own country.’ I find it very troubling.”

Walton also expressed fears that the Jan. 6 rioters had set a precedent that could lead to unrest and violence in future U.S. elections.

“What if the next time around, the Democrats lose the presidency and start a riot?" the judge asked. “I guess you think that would be all right, in light of what you did, right?”

“No,” Mariotto said.

Walton is among a handful of federal judges in Washington, D.C. — appointed by presidents of both parties — to express open disdain for the riot defendants and their cause.

Chief Judge Beryl Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, has similarly verbally thrashed defendants and suggested even the nonviolent offenders bear responsibility for the most egregious acts committed that day, arguing that they helped overwhelm police and weaken the building’s defenses. Howell has at times questioned prosecutors for not issuing more serious charges against some defendants and pressed defendants directly during plea hearings to own up to their conduct.

Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, Politico, September 24, 2021

Photo outraged the judge

Walton wanted to place this Floridian in prison, but did not. He could have overruled the prosecutors, but did not do so probably because Mariotto had agree to cooperate with the investigation.

However, one thing did outrage him: The selfie,

Mariotto entered the Senate chamber and took a smiling selfie while there that he posted to social media.

Under the terms of Mariotto’s plea deal, though, prosecutors agreed to dismiss that charge and three others in exchange for his guilty plea to the charge of parading or protesting in the Capitol. That carries a maximum six-month prison sentence.

Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, Politico, September 24, 2021

Most judges have not expressed their own personal opinions when they sentenced people, probably because it could be used against them later.

However, since most of the ones being sentenced now are low-level, that is going to change shortly.

Remember: This was a terrorrist attack on America.

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