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‘Sedition Panda,’ a Jan. 6 Rioter, Is Convicted of Assaulting an Officer

‘Sedition Panda,’ a Jan. 6 Rioter, Is Convicted of Assaulting an Officer


A Florida man who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, whereas carrying a dressing up panda head was convicted on Friday of assaulting a police officer and different expenses associated to the occasions of that day.

The man, Jesse James Rumson, 38, who grew to become often called Sedition Panda, was discovered responsible of eight whole expenses, two felonies and 6 misdemeanors, after a bench trial within the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

He was convicted by Judge Carl J. Nichols, who has garnered his personal headlines for difficult the Justice Department’s use of a federal obstruction legislation to prosecute Jan. 6. rioters.

In a separate case, Judge Nichols, a Trump appointee, dismissed a cost towards one other Jan. 6 defendant, Joseph Fischer, for violating a federal legislation that makes it against the law to corruptly impede an official continuing.

The judge dismissed the cost in that case on the grounds that the legislation strictly considerations white-collar crime, saying that it required a defendant to take “some motion with respect to a doc, report or different object.” An appeals courtroom reversed the judge’s ruling, and Mr. Fischer efficiently introduced the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is anticipated to launch a choice this summer time.

Prosecutors have invoked the obstruction legislation towards a whole bunch of rioters, sometimes in essentially the most severe instances. But prosecutors didn’t cost Mr. Rumson with violating that legislation, and Judge Nichols didn’t seem to have any reservations concerning the applicability of the costs prosecutors did convey.

In courtroom, Judge Nichols known as Mr. Rumson’s account of his actions on the Capitol “absurd” and “patently incompatible with the target proof and testimony,” based on prosecutors.

In response to questions concerning the conviction, Mr. Rumson’s lawyer, Anthony Sabatini, rebuked the Justice Department for its wider prosecution of people that stormed the Capitol.

“There are not any honest trials in Washington for Jan. 6 protesters,” Mr. Sabatini mentioned in a press release on Friday. “We haven’t seen one but.”

Mr. Rumson and a buddy drove from Florida to Washington on Jan. 5, 2021. The subsequent day he donned a big panda head and attended Mr. Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse, based on courtroom data.

After the rally, he marched to the Capitol and joined 1000’s of different rioters who breached the restricted perimeter across the constructing. Video footage confirmed that Mr. Rumson approached an space close to the northwest stairs and watched the mob attempt to get previous a line of outnumbered cops, prosecutors mentioned.

He was among the many first rioters to enter the constructing after one other particular person breached the door. Inside, Mr. Rumson obtained right into a struggle with cops, was pepper-sprayed and was in the end handcuffed.

He misplaced his costume panda head within the scuffle.

Mr. Rumson managed to get freed from {the handcuffs} and left the constructing earlier than becoming a member of a conflict towards a police line exterior. He was on the entrance of a mob pushing towards officers and was at one level pushed again, based on courtroom data.

“Undeterred, nonetheless, he charged again on the line, the place he reached up along with his proper hand and grasped the face defend” of a Prince George’s County Police corporal, prosecutors mentioned. Mr. Rumson then yanked on the face defend and whipped the corporal’s head down and backward, inflicting the officer to fall over in ache.

In courtroom on Friday, Judge Nichols mentioned the proof introduced was damning and derided Mr. Rumson’s testimony as “unimaginable to reconcile” with the proof, NBC News reported. The judge mentioned that it was clear Mr. Rumson knew he was committing against the law by being on the grounds with the mob and that his conduct was “no accident.”

Mr. Rumson was arrested in Lecanto, Fla., final 12 months and charged with two federal felony offenses of civil disobedience and assaulting, resisting or impeding sure officers in addition to six misdemeanor offenses associated to trespassing and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds.

Mr. Rumson’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 5.

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