Washington — A Donald Trump Supporters who attacked police officers at the Capitol on January 6 because they Believed the former president’s lies. The 2020 presidential election was sentenced to more than five years in prison on Tuesday.
Mark Ponder, one of only four D.C. residents arrested for his actions on January 6, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison by Judge Tanya Chitkin. Consideration is now set for January 6 for the longest sentence. Imposed to this day with Robert Scott Palmerwho attacked law enforcement officials with fire extinguishers.
Ponder’s sentencing hearing included testimony from Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who told the judge that Jan. 6 changed his life forever. The sentencing memo from the government explains how Ponder “blamed” Gonell. [a] Qutub aggressively and then attacked” Gonell.
“Ponder struck the riot shield with such force that the pole snapped and broke upon contact with the shield, and the top of the pole flew off to the side,” the sentencing memo said. “Think then retreated into the crowd. The screenshot below captures the attack.”
Gunnell, a military veteran and immigrant, told reporters last month that he would “never be back in uniform” because of the injuries he sustained on January 6.
Ponder later assaulted a DC police officer identified as J.C. and joined mob members inside the tunnel as they tried to enter the Capitol.
The government had sought 60 months or five years in the case. Chitkin went a little further, saying she considered giving Ponder more time because of the violence on the video. He said there were people inside the building doing their job on Jan. 6 who were patriots, not people like Ponder who believed the lies about the election and became violent because of it.
“He didn’t get what he wanted,” Chitkin said. And because he didn’t, he felt entitled to attack law enforcement officers who were simply doing their jobs.
After his arrest by the FBI, Ponder made it clear that he believed in conspiracy theories about the election, echoing Trump’s talking points about the Supreme Court and former Attorney General William Barr, who Said Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud are “false.”
“Because of the election, I know I shouldn’t say this, but I really feel like it’s stolen,” he said. “That’s something you can’t take, right? … The thing about it is, our Supreme Court, we have a Supreme Court here that stands for things like that. And says , well, why not? The Supreme Court stepped in? Why didn’t the Bar at least step in to say, ‘Let’s investigate.’