A father-son duo from the Midwest who admitted to interfering with police trying to control the riotous crowd during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol have been sentenced to time behind bars—one month for the father and four months for the son.
Daryl Johnson, 51, and his son Daniel Johnson, 29, climbed through what prosecutors described as a “smashed-out” window and entered the Capitol building at around 2:20 p.m. time, just minutes after the building was first breached. They stayed inside for around 26 minutes, at one point joining forces with a crowd that “rushed” a group of officers and helped push open the East Rotunda doors, which allowed rioters outside the building to enter.
The Iowans’ social media posts at the time and in the immediate aftermath indicated they were proud of their participation in the attack.
“I was one of the first ones inside,” Daniel said in a Snapchat message, according to prosecutors. “Was fucking wild.”
When the person replied that Daniel “should have shit on [Nancy Pelosi’s] desk,” Daniel responded: “Dude I’m sure her office got trashed. I was trying to find a way into the chamber.”
On Jan. 7, 2021, Daniel posted to Facebook: “Trump 2020!!!”
Daryl, too, appeared convinced of the rightness of his actions on Jan. 7.
“Mark my words Yesterday will be the beginning of the revolution . . . . what happens when those same people decide to throw out the ‘elected officials,'” he wrote, according to prosecutors. “It will be hangings on the front lawn of the capital – that crowd is not messing around.”
On Jan. 13, in a private Facebook message, Daryl Johnson wrote: “It’s going to get very ugly and probably result in some version of a civil war.”
More than a month after the Capitol attack, he was still defiant, posting to social media: “Bring it on Biden! I have no problem dying in a pool of empty shell casing.”
Prosecutors further said that the elder Johnson blamed the Jan. 6 chaos on “Antifa people.”
The father and son pleaded guilty in January to one count each of civil disorder, a felony that carries up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors had pushed for a sentence of three months behind bars and three years probation for Daryl, and six months behind bars for Daniel. Daryl requested a sentence of probation only; Daniel asked for a sentence of probation including a term of home confinement that would allow him to leave the house for work.
In issuing her sentence, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said that this was an “extremely difficult case,” noting that the nature of the Johnsons’ offense is “more egregious” than many other Jan. 6 cases.
That their actions that day came down to a “split second” decision doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable, the judge noted.
“That is the case with a lot of crimes,” said Friedrich, a Trump appointee. “Many, many defendants are held responsible for impulsive decisions they made in seconds.”
Friedrich ordered that Daryl Johnson serve one year of probation after his brief time behind bars and imposed a fine of $2,000. Daniel Johnson also received a year of probation. Pursuant to the plea agreement, both defendants will also pay $2,000 in restitution.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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