The committee to investigate the events at the U.S. capitol on January 6, 2021, spent two years looking into the events, and as the 2022 Congress wrapped up its business the committee made its report. No legal weight is given to the recommendation of the committee to charge former President Donald Trump with crimes, and no charges have been forthcoming. During the two years in place, most of the charges incurred by individuals have been for ignoring subpoenas from the committee, and a few who participated in events at the capitol have pled guilty to charges of actions on that day.
One of those who was at the Capitol that day and who pled guilty to certain charges was a former marine. John D. Andries, 37, of Piney Point, Maryland, had pleaded guilty last August 23 to a felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
Andries arrest had drawn extra attention in 2021 after CNN had obtained records showing that “he served in the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2009 and was assigned to the Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the unit responsible for transporting the president, Raw Story reported in March, 2021. He was listed as a helicopter crew chief, but not a pilot, on Marine One.
The Department of Justice issued a statement about Andries’ actions:
“Andries illegally entered the Capitol Building through a broken window near the Senate Wing Door at approximately 2:15 p.m., just two minutes after rioters’ initial breach at that location,” the DOJ reported. “Once inside, he proceeded to the Crypt and was among rioters who attempted to push past U.S. Capitol Police officers. Eventually he and others were able to surge forward past the officers and further into the building.”
Andries then made his way to the House of Representatives Chamber, where he filmed himself saying, “Think they’re scared yet” and “I think the police have gotten the message, we ain’t backing down,” according to DOJ.
Raw Story continues:
And after exiting the Capitol, Andries filmed himself again, stating ““I think we’re on the right side of history.”
The Maryland man and helicopter crew member under President George W. Bush was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for his role in the January 6 events at the U.S. Capitol. Andries’ sentence was below the 15-to-21 months estimated in his plea agreement. Federal judges are not bound to follow the guidelines. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered $2,000 restitution and three years of supervised release, the Department of Justice reported.
Andries filming of himself, guilty plea, and background suggests that he is fine with his actions and willing to take the consequences. His sentence suggests that his actions are, although illegal, not considered to be severe.
Unlike the judge who sentenced Andries, the Jan 6 committee sought to label the incidents at the Capitol that day and “insurrection” and hang blame for any and all incidents that day at the feet of then-president Trump. After 18 months of investigations they released a report that has MAGA supporters rolling their eyes.
NPR reported that the document, which is more than 800 pages long, recommends the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against former President Trump for “his role in the attack”. And they say Congress should act to bar Trump and any others involved in the Jan 6 events from ever holding federal office again.
There is no legal weight applied by the committee’s document, it is merely their opinion after two years of “investigation”. No charges have been levied against former President Trump, and the DOJ has not mentioned any plan to charge the 45th president with anything.
One of the recommendations in the document is that “Congress should make stronger criminal penalties for those who obstruct a peaceful transfer of power”. In light of the massive and destructive riots following the 2020 presidential election, where homes and businesses were looted and burned across America, and people were killed, it seems strange that the governing body who made this recommendation only does so concerning a protest at the Capitol that led to few arrests or fatalities and not the many true insurrections that harmed America and Americans.
There was one death on Jan 6 at the Capitol, that of Ashlei Babbitt. Former President Trump posted in reflection of Babbitt’s death, as her mother was arrested for protesting during the anniversary of her death.
“So an out-of- control wild man kills beautiful Ashli Babbitt, a true Patriot, who was the only one killed on January 6th. Her mother goes to protest her death and memory, and they arrest her mother. Something has to be done about these communists and Marxists that are taking over and destroying our Country. Pray for Ashli, and her wonderful, brave mother!”
Trump announced in November his intention to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2024. Many names have been bantered about as a possible running mate, with quite a few governors and members of Congress included in that list.