A Florida man was sentenced to more than five years behind bars Friday for storming the US Capitol on Jan. 6 — the harshest penalty dished out yet over the insurrection.
Robert Palmer, 54, was handed a 63-month sentence after he pleaded guilty in October to attacking police officers during the riot.
“Your honor. I’m really really ashamed of what I did,” he told US District Judge Tanya Chutkan through sobs on Friday.
Federal prosecutors said Palmer, of Largo Florida, was on the “front lines” of the mob attempting to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Palmer threw a wooden plank at cops before spraying a fire extinguisher that he then also hurled.
He was halted briefly when he was pepper-sprayed by law-enforcement — but then attacked again with a pole, according to prosecutors.
In a handwritten letter to the judge, Palmer said that he and other supporters of former President Donald Trump were “lied to by those at the time who had great power.”
“They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny.”
Palmer — one of several rioters sentenced in Washington, DC, court on Friday — argued it wasn’t fair that he be punished so severely, when the many ringleaders aren’t in jail.
Chutkan agreed — to a point.
“The people who extorted you and encouraged you and rallied you to go and take action have not been charged,” the judge said. “That is not the court’s decision. I have my opinions but they are not relevant.”
The previous longest sentence for a Capitol rioter was the 41 months dealt to both “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley of Arizona and New Jersey gym owner Scott Fairlamb, who was the first defendant sentenced for assaulting a law enforcement officer.
“It has to be made clear … trying to stop the peaceful transition of power and assaulting law enforcement officers is going to be met with certain punishment,” Chutkan said. “There are going to be consequences. I’m not making an example of you. I’m sentencing you for the conduct you did.”
Palmer is the 65th defendant to be sentenced overall out of more than 700 people who have been charged. In all, there was about $1.5 million in damage done to the Capitol.
With Post wires