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Rioter Implicates Manipulation, Pleads for Early Release

A participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, rally at the Capitol has come forward claiming that he was “manipulated” into taking part in the riot. Mitchell Todd Gardner II, in a filing made on Monday, expressed that he was influenced by “powerfully influential people” and media outlets, including Fox News, who allegedly “encouraged” his actions during the Capitol insurrection.

Gardner, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in June 2022, made a plea for an early release in the filing, which was obtained by NBC News.

Credit: DepositPhotos

According to Monday’s filing, Gardner stated, “If these influential individuals had not peddled such fraudulent claims he would have been there for his grandparents that both passed away this year.

In addition to this, he would have been able to support his children both physically and [financially] from home.” In light of these circumstances, Gardner requested that the court consider reducing his sentence to time served and allow him to either serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement or consider an alternative release.

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Court records reveal that Gardner was present on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol during the riots, where he participated in a mob and vocalized statements such as “drag them out,” “pull the cops out,” and “fight for Trump.” Additionally, it is reported that he encouraged other rioters to use a ladder to break a Capitol window.

Credit: DepositPhotos

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In a separate incident, a mother and son involved in the theft of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) laptop during the insurrection were both sentenced to five years of probation. Gardner, along with the mother and son, is among more than 1,200 individuals who have faced charges in connection with the breach of the Capitol nearly three years ago.

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