NBC News reports Adam Johnson of Florida was sentenced to 75 days in prison on Friday. Johnson is also required to pay a $5,000 fine.
U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton said Johnson made “a mockery” by grabbing Pelosi’s lectern for a photo op. “We’re on a dangerous slide in America,” Walton told the court, calling the Jan. 6 events something you’d “see in banana republics.”
Johnson maintained that he seized Pelosi’s podium merely “because he believed it would make a good prop for a picture,” adding that his objective was not to physically harm the House Speaker. “If I did find her, I would ask for a selfie with her, if anything,” he said.
Johnson was initially arrested two days after the riot, before he was released on Jan. 11, 2021. He had been identified thanks to the viral photo of him holding Pelosi’s lectern, as well as his social media activity and a tip to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center.
Back in November, Johnson pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds in connection with the riot.
Johnson’s attorneys argued that their client “deeply regrets his participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6” and that the “damage and violence inflicted on that date by others is contrary to everything he believes in.”
“Unfortunately, he received considerable attention simply because the lectern belonged to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi,” they wrote. “Arguably, if he latched onto some other piece of government furniture for his photo opportunity jail time would not even be a consideration.”