A 28-year-old from Pennsylvania was found guilty of felony charges on Thursday following a stipulated trial before a federal judge. Brian Gundersen was found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, the Department of Justice announced.
Prosecutors said Gundersen asked on Facebook prior to Jan. 6 whether “anyone else” was “going to DC on the 6th” and that he predicted “we may be able to bum rush the White House.” Gundersen did not, in fact, bum rush the White House (though if he believed he had, he wouldn’t be the only Jan. 6 defendant to make that error).
Gundersen patted fellow pro-Trump rioters on the back as they breached the Parliamentarian door, the DOJ said. The defendant was described in a statement of facts for the stipulated trial as “one of the first rioters” to enter that Capitol through this door. He was aware people were attacking police nearby.
“According to the stipulated facts, on Jan. 6, 2021, Gundersen illegally entered the Capitol grounds, joining a mob of rioters climbing the Northwest Steps. At about 2:30 p.m., he climbed up to a window in the Northwest Courtyard, next to the Senate Wing Door. While there, he shouted at officers inside the Capitol Building,” the DOJ said in a press release. “At about 2:42 p.m., Gundersen joined a mob entering the building; he was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol through the Parliamentarian Door. As rioters engaged in a confrontation with officers, Gundersen waved more into the door.”
Prosecutors noted that Gundersen was neither repentant on the day of nor in the days immediately following Jan. 6.
He left behind a note in the Capitol saying he was “sowwy for damage,” drawing a “crying emoticon” to hammer home his lack of remorse, said the statement of facts.
The next day, Gundersen posted a photo on Facebook of “scared little bitches” — namely, members of Congress — in hiding as the pro-Trump mob descended on the building.
Gundersen also said that condemning Jan. 6 “patriots” would render him a “spineless pussy.”
The day following, Jan. 8, Gundersen’s incriminating Facebook activity included the following statement: “We all stormed the us capital [sic] and tried to take over the government […] We failed but fuck it.”
“I guess we are the only heroes on this world,” he congratulated himself further.
When Gundersen is sentenced on Jan. 27, 2023, if the hearing is not moved for reasons unforeseeable, he faces the prospect of up to 28 years in prison on the two charges. Any resulting sentence is likely to be substantially less severe than that maximum, but numerous other obstruction defendants have been sentenced to years behind bars.
As Law&Crime reported of Gundersen after his arrest, one of the articles of clothing that made him stand out so obviously on Jan. 6 was a Byram Hills High School varsity jacket.
The had feds received photo tips of him wearing the very same jacket in a trio of pictures with Fox hosts Lisa Boothe, Kennedy, and Tomi Lahren at a Fox Nation meet-and-greet years before Jan. 6.
The affidavit in Gundersen’s case included an image of a CNN screenshot that showed the varsity jacket.
The number on the sleeve of the jacket was determined to be “70” (and an image of Gundersen wearing a football uniform showed that he wore no. 70).
“Open source research revealed GUNDERSEN played varsity football for Byram Hills High School One photograph showed GUNDERSEN and three other teammates. GUNDERSEN wore number ’70,'” the affidavit said. “The individual appearing to enter the Capitol Building in Figure 1 is wearing an apparent Byram Hills varsity jacket with a two digit number, ending in ‘0’ on the left sleeve.”
The stipulated trial outcome is not unheard of in Jan. 6 cases. As Law&Crime noted before, the stipulated trial leaves some room for a potential appeal.
[Images via DOJ]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]