Proud Boy Who Got Near Schumer Sentenced

Capitol Police officers submitted victim impact statements in Joshua Pruitt case
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2022 4:32 PM CDT
Proud Boy Who Got Near Schumer Sentenced
Robert Jenkins, attorney for Capitol rioter and Proud Boy Joshua Pruitt, speaks with members of the press outside federal court after Pruitt's sentencing hearing Monday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A Proud Boy from whom Sen. Chuck Schumer and his security team had to flee during the attack on the Capitol was sentenced Monday to 55 months in federal prison. Joshua Pruitt, 40, apologized in court for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, but stuck to his position supporting then-President Donald Trump's false claim that he was the true winner of the presidential election, NBC News reports. "I did believe the election was stolen," Pruitt told the judge. "I still do." But he also said, "I broke the law, bottom line, regardless of whether I'm right or wrong on my feelings." He pleaded guilty in June to a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Two US Capitol Police officers wrote victim impact statements for the court. Video shows Pruitt chasing officers as part of the mob and smashing a sign in the building, and Pruitt has admitted throwing a chair toward officers before he encountered Schumer and his detail waiting for an elevator, per NBC. The group ran from the elevator and down a ramp to elude Pruitt. "Every day I enter the beacon of our country, the US Capitol, I relive the memories of that day," one officer wrote, "and none are as impactful as the moments I saw Mr. Pruitt approaching us with the intent to inflict harm to the Majority Leader."

Encrypted chats during the weeks before the attack showed the DC bartender wanted to join the Proud Boys in a full battle on Jan. 6, per the Washington Post. He threw objects that day but didn't make physical contact with officers or staff members. "I was within 30 feet of these nasty insurrectionists," Schumer said in January. Judge Timothy Kelly was unimpressed that Pruitt didn't apologize or express regret during interviews with reporters instead of waiting until he'd pleaded guilty. "There was nothing patriotic about what happened that day, far from it," Kelly told him. "It was a national disgrace." (More Capitol riot stories.)

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