“It Can Happen Again,” Says the Judge Who Will Be Leading the Trump Trial. On January 6, She Handed Down Her Harshest Sentence to Date

On January 6, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan gave Scott Miller, a man from Maryland and a former head of the Proud Boys, her harshest sentence to date: five and a half years in prison. Miller attacked several police officers while trying to break into the Capitol.

Chutkan gave Miller her term on Friday, in part because of his “aggressive” behavior at the Capitol and also because of his private writings that called for violence against Jews and people of color based on race and religion. Miller said he had given up his “violent ideology” soon after January 6, but she was disturbed by the fact that he supported Nazism and was said to believe that people in Washington, D.C., should be put to death.

Chutkan’s 66-month sentence is just a little shorter than the 63-month sentences she gave to Robert Palmer and Mark Ponder, who also took part in some of the worst violence at the Capitol on January 6—the brutal hand-to-hand fighting at the entrance to the Lower West Terrace tunnel.

Chutkan, who is going to be in charge of Donald Trump’s criminal trial for trying to rig the 2020 election, said again that she thought the mob attack on January 6 was “close to as serious a crisis as this nation has ever faced.” She praised the cops who fought to protect the building even though they were outnumbered and lacked the right tools.

“They were in terrible situations.” “They were spit on, hit, kicked, beaten, and gassed,” Chutkan said. “They love their country.”

Chutkan was also afraid that the problems that led to January 6 were still there.

“It can happen again,” the judge picked by Obama said. “In this country, racism is still alive and well. Threats of violence have not stopped.

Miller has been in jail since pleading guilty. His family was in court with him, including his wife, who is 20 weeks pregnant with their first child together. His mental health counselor wife told Chutkan that she had been working with Miller since January 6 to get him away from the “disgusting” ideas and “groupthink” that she said got him to January 6. She talked about his anxiety and sadness.

Miller also spoke to Chutkan and told her that he had “cut ties” with the Proud Boys and given up his extremist views.

“I want to show my child how to be good,” he said.

After giving her the sentence, Chutkan agreed, saying that it would be hard on his wife and future child, “who didn’t ask for any of this.”

Chutkan said, “Having a child changes your life, and kids don’t really care about what you did.” They love you so much.

She told him that she hoped Miller’s child would be a turning point in his life and keep him away from dangerous ideas.

She said, “Everyone is capable of redemption.”

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