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A Man Insults the Judge Who Gave Him a 12-year Prison Sentence for Attacking Cops During the Capitol Riot


WASHINGTON — Five times, an electrician from New Jersey attacked police during the siege at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. On Friday, he was given 12 years in jail by a judge who called him “a menace to our society.”

Christopher Joseph Quaglin argued with and insulted U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden before and after the judge gave him one of the longest jail terms out of hundreds of people charged in the Capitol riot.

In 2016, Trump chose McFadden as his worst mistake, Quaglin told him. In 2017, Trump chose McFadden to be a judge.

Quaglin, who is 38 years old, joined the crowd of Trump fans who broke into the Capitol. A police officer was hurt when he choked and knocked him to the ground. Quaglin hit other police officers with pepper spray, metal bike racks, and stolen police shields. He fought with cops for about three hours while wearing a sweatshirt that said “Make America Great Again” and had an American flag on it.

“That is so wrong!” “What a shame,” the judge said.

During his long, confusing speech in court, Quaglin complained about how bad his jail conditions were and pushed plot theories about the Jan. 6 siege. He also didn’t agree with calling the attack on January 6 an uprising.

So he could start a rebellion, “I would have brought a long gun,” he said.

Before giving the sentence, the judge told Quaglin that his angry comments were a “really bad idea” and cut him off after a few minutes.

Quaglin replied, “It’s a kangaroo court.”

They asked the judge to give Quaglin a 14-year prison term. They said he was one of the most violent rioters on January 6, when a crowd of Trump supporters stopped the joint session of Congress from certifying Mr. Biden’s win in the 2020 election.

Quaglin was found guilty of six different assaults on police by the judge. Judges say he hit or pushed twelve more police officers.

Prosecutors wrote that Quaglin knew how important January 6 was to the Constitution and planned to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election in any way possible, even if that meant beating up police officers badly for hours.

About 1,400 people have been charged with federal crimes connected to the Capitol riot. Almost 900 of them have been given sentences, and about two-thirds of them will be locked up for anywhere from a few days to 22 years. An Associated Press review of court records shows that only seven other people charged with rioting in the Capitol have gotten longer jail terms than Quaglin.

In July of last year, McFadden found Quaglin guilty of 14 counts after a “stipulated bench trial.” This means that the judge made the decision without a jury and based on facts that both sides agreed upon before the trial. Having these kinds of cases lets defendants keep their appeal rights, which are lost when they plead guilty.

Quaglin left his home in North Brunswick, New Jersey, on January 6 to go to President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” gathering near the White House. Since Quaglin left the protest early, he filmed himself wearing a helmet, a gas mask, and a backpack as he marched to the Capitol.

After breaking through the barriers near Peace Circle, Quaglin attacked the police officers who were trying to keep the crowd from getting out. Quaglin hurt Capitol Police Sgt. Troy Robinson when he grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground.

Police wrote that Quaglin’s hit started a short fight. “When other rioters saw Quaglin on top of Sergeant Robinson, they came to help him, and chaos broke out.”

Police said Quaglin and other protesters “waged a relentless siege” on them in a tunnel on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol. He helped one of the rioters steal an officer’s sword. He sprayed several police officers in the face with pepper spray. He also joined the crowd’s “heave ho” push against a police line.

Judges wrote that Quaglin was involved in some of the worst attacks in the tunnel and worked with other attackers to make sure that police officers were always being attacked.

Quaglin later bragged about being in the riot and praised it.

“I had a great time.” I got cuts and scrapes. He said in a video shared on social media, “And we’re having a good time.”

Defense lawyer Kristi Fulnecky says Quaglin hasn’t gotten enough medical care while he’s been in jail for three years. Fulnecky also said that one of Quaglin’s old lawyers forced him to agree to a stipulated bench trial instead of a disputed trial.

McFadden told Quaglin that what he did on January 6 was “shocking and illegal.”

“January 6th is not just a strange day for you,” the judge told her. “You’ve let it define who you are.”

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