WASHINGTON (CN) — A Capitol rioter who got kicked off of his flight home from Washington because he wouldn’t stop chanting “Trump 2020!” was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday, following a long-winded story in court that galled U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta.
“I will say that I’m disappointed to hear a lot of what you had to say today,” Mehta told John Lolos, after Lolos doubled down on baseless theories of election fraud, insisted that he thought he was allowed to be in the Capitol building and accused the media of framing him and ruining his life.
“It sounds to me like you’re wanting to justify your conduct,” Mehta interrupted Lolos during his story.
Lolos rejected his lawyer’s attempt to talk to him and told Mehta he takes full responsibility for his actions before continuing his speech.
Recounting to Mehta why he believed that the designated spot for the protest was inside the U.S. Capitol building, Lolos claimed that the “smallest police officer I’ve ever seen in my whole life” beckoned Lolos to follow him inside the Capitol.
Lolos also claimed that when he said, “They left! We did it,” after leaving the Capitol, he meant to say, “We left! We did it!”
“You thought that the way to get to the designated protest area was through a broken window?” Mehta asked. Mehta later told Lolos that he didn’t believe much of Lolos’ story, including why he got kicked off of his plane back to Seattle.
A Delta flight crew decided to turn around on the tarmac of Ronald Reagan National Airport on Jan. 8 when Lolos refused to stop chanting “Trump 2020!” on the plane, according to court documents.
While Lolos was waiting for another flight, a police officer at the airport realized that he recognized the person just kicked off the plane as the man he saw exiting the U.S. Capitol in a video from his personal Instagram feed.
Capitol police arrived at the airport, and Lolos spent two days in jail.
In his version of events, Lolos said that half of the plane was chanting 2020, and he wasn’t sure why he was the one who got kicked off, though he suspects it was because an undercover officer who “displayed traits stereotypical of a homosexual” told him he was being loud in the airport.
“If I failed to convince you why Mr. Lolos should receive a sentence of incarceration, I think Mr. Lolos pretty much summed it up perfectly,” said Justice Department attorney Anthony Franks, who recommended a sentence of 30 days incarceration. “If he gets mad again, he is not deterred.”
Lolos’ attorney Edward MacMahon had pushed for a sentence of incarceration, as Lolos wasn’t violent and didn’t destroy any property.
Mehta mentioned that “impressionable people” like Lolos were told lies by an elected official who led them astray.
“In a sense, Mr. Lolos, you are a pawn in a game played by people who should have known better,” Mehta said. “But it still sounds like you believe what happened that day was not that big of a deal. And that’s just wrong.”
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