Dec 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DOJ: Jan. 6 rioter tried to sell video from Capitol siege

Trump supporters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A Capitol rioter who filmed himself assaulting a police officer did interviews from jail with documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, per court documents.

Driving the news: In a sentencing memorandum Friday, prosecutors said Ronald Sandlin, a 35-year-old from Tennessee, repeatedly tried to profit "from his criminal conduct" on Jan. 6, 2021, by selling video footage he took during the insurrection.

  • One such instance was during recorded jail calls with Alexandra Pelosi, in which he discussed "providing his footage to her as well as his conspiracy theories," the court documents state.
  • He also instructed a friend to watermark his footage from inside the Capitol so that he could send a sample to potential buyers.
  • Sandlin also created an online fundraiser for legal fees, despite having a court-appointed attorney at no cost to him, the Department of Justice said.

The bottom line: The DOJ requested the court sentence Sandlin to 63 months of incarceration, followed by three years of supervised release.

Background: Sandlin, who has been in pretrial detention since January 2021, pleaded guilty in October to felony charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.

Details: Prosecutors said Sandlin and his two co-conspirators took weapons, including two pistols, to the Capitol.

  • While storming the building, Sandlin filmed himself grabbing an officer's helmet, according to the DOJ.
  • "Get out of the way! Your life is not worth it today," Sandlin told officers in a video he recorded. "You’re going to die, get out of the way!"
  • He also said in the video footage "we’re not here to spectate anymore," and "if you’re not breaching the building, move out of the way."
  • Sandlin later filmed himself entering the Senate gallery and smoking marijuana in the Capitol rotunda, per the DOJ.
  • He also stole a book from a Senate-side office and grabbed an oil painting from the Capitol before rioters took it back.
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