A Jan 6 rioter who was filmed shouting “Civil war two” when he stormed inside the US Capitol has been sentenced to two weeks in jail.
Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Bishai, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, pleaded guilty in April to charges stemming from his involvement in the attack to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
Federal prosecutors had asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to give him a 30-day jail sentence, 12 months of supervised release and 60 hours of community service.
Instead, Judge Chutkan handed down a 14-day jail sentence and one year of parole. The 60 hours were waived as Bishai had already done over 500 hours of community service, according to his attorney, Don Brown. Bishai will have to pay $500 in restitution.
“We think she has been very fair with us, so we are very grateful,” he told The Independent on Friday.
Mr Brown also said that Bishai will be allowed to serve the prison time in his home state, although it is not clear yet in which specific city.
“I just want to say, I do apologise,” Bishai told Judge Chutkan during the sentencing, Law & Crime reported.
“If there is some way I could make this entire thing not have happened … I would. But there’s nothing I can do about it. It already happened. I just want to sincerely apologise to the nation and sincerely apologise to the court. Thank you for hearing me.”
Judge Chutkan said she didn’t understand “how [Bishai] looked those officers in the eye and did what [he] did.”
Bishai stormed inside the Capitol through a shattered window, and yelled ‘‘Let’s go’’ and ‘‘Civil War two” as he made his way inside room S145. He had driven nearly seven hours from Fort Mill to Washington DC, with his girlfriend and co-defendants Eliaz Irizarry and Grayson Sherril.
At the time, Bishai was a member of the United States Civilian Air Patrol, a federally supported public entity devoted to public safety.
Bishai was also accused of having dozens of images that reflect Nazi and white supremacist sentiments on his phone, but he was never charged in connection with the images.
In a previous court filing, Mr Brown wrote that his client did not recall his reference to a second Civil War, arguing that he became ‘‘caught up in the moment” when he said those words.
‘‘The words are embarrassing because Mr Bishai became caught up in the moment outside the Capitol, as others were yelling, and he briefly joined in the yelling fray, for a few moments, unfortunately,’’ the filing reads.
The prosecution argued that in addition to over 80 images found on his cellphone, Bishai had downloaded over 400 videos by the far-right Internet personality “GypsyCrusader.”
Bishai’s lawyer highlighted his service as a firefighter and in the army. Mr Brown also argued that a prison sentence was not needed as Mr Bashai’s student pilot’s license was subsequently revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration.
He told The Independent that his client has continued to work as a firefighter and will return to his job once he serves his time.