A member of the far-right Proud Boys group and a former Washington, D.C. bartender was sentenced to 55 months in prison on Monday after he apologized for his role in the riot but continued to insist the 2020 presidential election was rigged, the latest of more than 175 Capitol riot defendants to be sentenced.
Joshua Pruitt, who pleaded guilty in June to obstruction of an official proceeding, was at the “forefront” of the mob on January 6, Judge Timothy Kelly said before announcing the sentencing Monday, according to CNN.
Pruitt, who was shown on video destroying a sign inside the Capitol and chasing after police officers, said he was sorry for breaking the law, but he “believe[d] the election was stolen” and still does, according to NBC News.
The sentencing comes after the security detail for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told prosecutors they had to modify their evacuation plan after spotting Pruitt in the Capitol on January 6, noting he was within seconds of approaching the senator, according to CNN.
At least 896. That’s how many people have been charged for crimes related to the Capitol riots, according to a tracker maintained by Insider.
Pruitt was a part of a Proud Boys group message where members chatted about plans to go to the Capitol and breach the building on January 6, though he had yet to become an official member of the far-right group, prosecutors said. Both Kelly and Pruitt’s attorney suggested alcohol may have fueled some of Pruitt’s actions on January 6. Pruitt acknowledged in court filings in June he almost came into contact with Schumer on January 6, saying he threw a chair toward officers and was moving toward the Senate subway when he came near Schumer’s security detail waiting for an elevator. Schumer and his security ran away from the elevator after seeing him, Pruitt wrote in a statement of offense, according to NBC News. He is one of dozens of Proud Boy members to plead guilty for January 6 related charges.
Pruitt’s sentencing comes several weeks after prosecutors handed down the longest sentence to date out of all January 6 defendants to Guy Reffitt, a Texas militia member who got 87 months in prison for bringing a semiautomatic pistol and zip ties to the Capitol and threatening his family members not to turn him in.