The Associated Press has collected a sampling of what some of the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol in the 6 January attack are saying as they face prison time or are pleading guilty.
Some, like Robert Palmer of Florida, directly blame Donald Trump for misleading them, while others remain defiant.
“I have realized that we, meaning Trump supporters, were lied to by those that at the time had great power, meaning the then sitting President, as well as those acting on his behalf,” Palmer wrote in a handwritten letter.
“They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny. Little did I realize that they were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost, even by creating the chaos they knew would happen with such rhetoric.”
Palmer was sentenced to more than five years in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher and attacking police officers.
“My conservative creed still remains the same. However, the system of governance, a constitutional republic, and the processes in place for deciding who sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk transcends any one candidate or party,” wrote Devlyn Thompson in a handwritten letter. “That peaceful transfer of power and the method set out for achieving it are worthy of protection. My message to fellow conservatives, or any American dissenting with the current administration, is that we must continue our work within the confines of the system and condemn the actions on January 6th as atrocious.”
Thompson, of Seattle, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer with a baton and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
“The only plan I had was to go to the White House Ellipse to listen to President Trump’s speech. He said during his speech that he would be going to the capitol after he spoke and he asked us to walk there together after his speech,” Valerie Elaine Ehrke wrote in a letter to the court. “I left his speech early to walk back to my hotel room because I was cold. Once back in my room, I saw on the news that people where (sic) at the capitol building. … Having travelled a long way to attend this rally, I decided to put on an extra layer of clothing and walk to the capitol.”
Trump never went to the Capitol that day. Ehrke, of California, was sentenced to three years’ probation.