Gionet pleaded guilty last year to parading on Capitol grounds. But McFadden agreed with prosecutors that Gionet’s conduct stood out among other rioters for its brazenness. Just weeks after being charged with unrelated crimes in Arizona, Gionet came to Washington and live-streamed his trip to the Capitol, part of a DLive stream that also included a way for his viewers to send payments.
As he approached the building, viewers informed Gionet that Trump supporters had begun storming the building and were engaged in physical confrontations with police, resulting in pepper spraying. Gionet then urged crowds standing nearby to walk to the opposite side of the Capitol where the conflicts were occurring.
Once inside, Gionet entered the hideaway of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), where he facetiously picked up a phone and pretended to dial other U.S. senators. He repeatedly suggested that he expected rioters to camp inside the building, and he said he expected Trump would be pleased that his supporters were fighting on his behalf.
It’s “pretty shocking behavior, sir,” McFadden said.
McFadden suggested that Gionet appeared to express no remorse for his actions. Though he didn’t address it, prosecutors had also emphasized that Gionet recently celebrated the fact that his case had been transferred to McFadden — who has given out relatively lighter sentences than other judges — from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.