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Capitol rioter from Maryland won’t face more charges despite new evidence

A Maryland man who pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6 will not face new charges after video showing him shoving a police officer during the riot came to light the day of his sentencing hearing, according to court documents.

Robert Reeder, 55, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to a plea agreement on June 23. Hours before his Aug. 18 sentencing hearing, however, a video surfaced that appeared to show him shoving a police officer the day of the storming.

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The video – posted to Twitter by “Sedition Hunters,” a group that identifies participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots – threw off the sentencing, which was postponed until Oct. 8. In a court filing Tuesday, federal prosecutors said they are ready to proceed and do “not intend to bring further charges” against Reeder. They asked that the court impose a sentence of six month’s imprisonment, the statutory maximum on the charge.

Reeder’s attorney Robert Bonsib did not respond to requests for comment in time for the publication of this article.

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Around Jan. 7, the Harford County State’s Attorney’s office submitted a tip to the FBI that facial recognition software had identified two Maryland residents as possible matches to photos released by the federal agency following the storming of the Capitol, according to a complaint filed in the case. One of those people was identified as Reeder.

Reeder contacted the government through his attorney around Jan. 19, according to court documents, and provided a nearly 22-minute compilation of photos and videos he took on his cellphone during the riot, the documents state.

Documents in the case state that Reeder twice entered the Capitol building. He recorded rioters fighting with police and bragged that he had been one of the last ones out of the building. In many of the photos, he is seen wearing a signature “Make America Great Again” hat and chanting with the crowd, according to the documents.

In the defense’s August sentencing memorandum, Reeder claimed he was a registered Democrat who did not support former President Donald Trump. According to the documents, he attended the rally because he had nothing better to do and intended to visit several monuments when he heard that people were going to the Capitol. The documents further state that he did not know he was not allowed to enter the Capitol.

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Bonsib argued that his client was “publicly grouped with many others who [sic] views he abhors” in the memorandum, though acknowledging Reeder liked “the patriotic spirit that he believed that President Trump was trying to instill in Americans.”

According to a transcript of Reeder’s interview with FBI agents included in Bonsib’s sentencing memo, Reeder said he was a “victim of [his] own stupid choices,” which have profoundly changed his life. He told the agents he did not know why he entered the building a second time.

In their own sentencing memorandum filed in August, prosecutors said Reeder presented a “self-serving rewrite of history” to make himself look better and only came forward because a neighbor told him the FBI had been outside his home. Prosecutors also pointed out that Reeder claimed that there was a conspiracy to allow rioters into the Capitol and close the doors behind them to “demonize the Trump people,” documents state.

Prosecutors also called Reeder’s ignorance of restrictions on entry to the Capitol “divorced from reality,” the documents state.

The government’s sentencing memorandum from early August called for two months in jail and a $500 fine, but the plea agreement preserved the right to prosecute Reeder for crimes of violence committed before or after its signing.

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