A federal judge in Washington, DC, ripped into a Capitol riot defendant who’d just pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge on Friday, criticizing him for taking part in “attack on our government.”
“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,” yelled US District Court Judge Reggie Walton at Anthony Mariotto during a video hearing, according to Politico. “I find it outrageous that American citizens would do what you did, so you better walk the straight and narrow, sir, you understand?”
According to an FBI affidavit, Mariotto had posted on Facebook a photo of himself in the Senate Gallery, which was sent to law enforcement. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the five initial charges he was facing. Under his guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed his four other charges. He faces as much as six months in prison.
Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, has previously aired his disdain for the January 6 insurrection and called the behavior of a married couple who stormed the Capitol “reprehensible.”
“I have real concerns about what you and the other people [did],” said Walton during the hearing. “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.”