The DOJ is now recommending a jail term for an Air Force veteran who took part in something that he should have just stayed out of.
You heard that right. It looks like prosecutors are now recommending a four-month jail term for the first member of the military who was identified as participating in the Capitol riot. Prosecutors cited his service as the reason why they think he deserves a stiffer punishment.
Derek Jancart made his mark as an Air Force veteran, but he also breached the Capitol in the early wave of the January 6th riot and meandered for 40 minutes along with his friend and fellow defendant Erik Rau. They first went to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and Jancart remained outside while Rau was in her suite.
“While Jancart’s military service is laudable, it renders his conduct on January 6 all the more egregious,” Justice Department attorneys wrote in a sentencing memo. “As a former military member, Jancart was well aware that taxpayer status does not bestow upon a person the right to enter restricted government buildings. His voluntary decision to storm a guarded government building is nothing short of shocking in light of his former military service and training.”
Prosecutors also noted that Jancart himself would not have allowed “civilians onto restricted military basis [sic] on the basis that they ‘paid taxes.'”
This is a notable event for the Justice Department as they continue to prosecute hundreds of defendants who breached the Capitol during this January 6th insurrection. This mob included dozens of retired service members and current military members. Moreover, it included current and retired police officers and even a few who held security clearances. With these prosecutions, the Justice Department is clearly showing that they are going to make military service an aggravating factor in these prosecutions.
Although several misdemeanor defendants have pled guilty and avoided jail time, prosecutors say they don’t expect that to be common. They were careful to note that these initial defendants were not accused of violence, nor were they angry. They also cooperated with law enforcement.
However, there is a big difference in the case of Jancart and Rau. Prosecutors noted that these two came prepared for violence, with kevlar-lined gloves and a gas mask. Moreover, they were among the first to breach the building, and they went farther into the building than many others did, and celebrated their actions on social media.
Jancart defended his actions when interviewed by law enforcement, suggesting that his status as a taxpayer gave him the right to enter the building.
Rau expressed more contrition than Jancart regarding his actions and even turned himself in to law enforcement. However, his actions that day egged on others and turned the January 6th riot into something much worse than what it could have been.
“While Rau himself did not participate in that physical attack, he screamed threatening language to police officers and celebrated the violence,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memo for Rau. “Jancart, too, can be heard yelling ‘get him!’ on the video. When the line is broken, Rau and Jancart start screaming, ‘go, go, go!’ and ‘they just pushed through the guards!’”
“Rau’s conduct on January 6 was more egregious than Jancart’s … although Rau’s conduct on January 6 was more egregious than Derek Jancart’s based on the conduct captured in Exhibit 1, his conduct after Derek Jancart’s arrest – both his cooperation with the prosecution and lack of social media postings – is sufficiently mitigating that the government is recommending a sentence of four months’ incarceration for both defendants. “
No word yet on when the Black Lives Matter protesters are going to be prosecuted for their actions and get a jail term, but I digress.