InfoWar’s Owen Shroyer has been sentenced to serve 60 days in prison after pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor count of Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds.
The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly is half of the 120 days the Department of Justice requested. The DOJ argued Shroyer “helped create January 6” by “spread[ing] election disinformation paired with violent rhetoric.” The journalist did not enter the Capitol Building and he is not accused of committing an act of violence.
Shroyer said the government was not operating in good faith and honoring the plea agreement his team had reached with prosecutors. He also pointed out that a section of the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation was labeled “Shroyer’s Rhetoric.”
“You’re telling me this isn’t a free speech case?” said the host of War Room while speaking outside the courthouse after being sentenced on Sept. 12.
“For five years these people have been obsessed with me,” Shroyer said, highlighting the quotes the Justice Department included from his show that were several years old. “They are coming for you next.”
“Make no mistake, the government has declared a war on the First Amendment … and we’re going to strike back,” said Norm Pattis, Shroyer’s attorney who also represented Proud Boys Joe Biggs and Zachary Rehl. Biggs and Rehl were given 17 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, by Judge Kelly on Aug. 31. Kelly also sentenced former leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio.
Pattis called AG Merrick Garland “unhinged” and condemned the Justice Department for continuing to prosecute people who were loosely connected to the riot at the Capitol after almost three years. The lawyer said the Biden administration sought “to make a point by breaking the back of the First Amendment” and by targeting journalists.
In the sentencing memorandum, the Justice Department wrote:
The fact that Shroyer did not enter the Capitol should not deter the Court from considering imprisonment as a just and warranted sentence. As an initial matter, he breached the restricted grounds, Capitol steps, and stopped just short of the East Rotunda Doors. His conduct alone, let alone his statements to his followers, played a role in halting the proceedings that day by helping to spread law enforcement officers thin.
The DOJ also claimed there was precedent to sentence Shroyer based on conduct despite not entering the Capitol, citing United States v. Edward Vallejo. Edward Vallejo, an Army veteran who was involved with the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of seditious conspiracy. He was not in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, but was at a Comfort Inn in northern Virginia, per AZ Central.
Pattis told reporters his team intends to appeal the sentencing and that it is his intention to bring the case to the Supreme Court because the government is using Shroyer’s political speech to send him to jail.
“They can have him for 60 days but they can’t touch his soul because a free soul cannot be defeated,” said Pattis