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DOJ Seeks 12 Years in Prison for Son of Prominent Conservative Over Jan 6

Prosecutors told a federal judge that the son of a prominent conservative activist convicted of bashing open a Senate window, joining rioters who chased a police officer before making his way to Speaker of the House’s office and finally perching himself in a gallery where he turned the view of CSPAN camera away from fellow rioters on Jan. 6 deserves 12 years in prison.

Leo Brent Bozell IV of Pennsylvania is the son of Brent Bozell, the conservative founder of the Media Research Center, CNSNews, and the Parents Television Counsel, as Law&Crime previously reported,

Bozell IV, 44, was convicted at a bench trial last September in Washington, D.C. on 10 counts including five felonies like obstructing an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, destruction of government property and aiding and abetting, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. He was also convicted on several misdemeanors including entering and remaining in a restricted building and grounds.

The stark 12-year proposed sentence is the result of a terrorism enhancement prosecutors seek for Bozell, a government sentencing memorandum from Friday explained.

Bozell’s attorney, William Shipley, wrote in a proposed sentencing memorandum that his client “made a bad error in judgment” on Jan. 6 but “did not arrive with ill intent.”

Senior U.S. District Judge John Bates, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, disagreed when he convicted Bozell last fall, telling him directly that he found many of his explanations for his conduct utterly unbelievable.

“I find that Mr. Bozell was not a credible witness on several fronts. Many of his explanations of his conduct before and on Jan. 6 defy both the video evidence and common sense,” Bates said when rendering his verdict, court records show.

Bates did not buy the Pennsylvania man’s claims that text messages discussing “taking the Capitol” were just “silly conversations” with friends or family nor did he believe Bozell was trying to help police. Bozell’s smashing of windows “because he was angry the situation outside was deteriorating so quickly,” was equally uncredible and none more so than his assertion that he tore through the complex in search of his mother.

“The sentiments expressed in these messages track Mr. Bozell’s actual conduct on January 6: He did in fact smash windows, storm the Capitol and then help to delay the certification of the 2020 election,” Bates said on Sept. 8.

The evidence showed Bozell was involved in “many pivotal breaches” and “actively and aggressively propelled the momentum of the mob from the Senate Wing Doors — where he personally created entry points for hundreds of rioters — all the way to the Senate Chamber, which he occupied rendering it impossible for Congress to meet,” U.S. attorney Ashley Akers wrote.

Bozell participated or led breaches under Capitol scaffolding, on the northwest stairs at two locations; he smashed a window to enter the Senate wing, plowed past police lines near a carriage door entry, stormed the East Rotunda doors, the Senate Gallery and finally the Senate floor — and all of this by 2:49 p.m., prosecutors said.

He bypassed police and overran barriers and “joined others in a menacing pursuit of U.S Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up a staircase,” stopping just a few steps from where lawmakers were sheltering.

Once Goodman led the crowd away, Bozell meanwhile broke apart and entered a private meeting room before joining a different group of rioters elsewhere.

Prosecutors said when police tried to force Bozell and others to back away, it was Bozell who took off next toward then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office “and left carrying an unidentified object in his hand.”

Everywhere he went, he opened a route for fellow rioters, the Justice Department emphasized, and when he finally got to the Senate chamber, he grabbed a CSPAN camera focused on the mayhem engulfing the floor and pointed it away. He directed others to do the same.

Inside for roughly an hour, he got into more than a dozen locations and when it was over, messages showed him whining that then-Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor” for certifying the 2020 election and said his actions were “morally justified.”

Bozell’s attorney emphatically denies that Bozell “chased” Officer Goodman up a staircase.

“He merely followed, if not walked along with numerous others behind Goodman,” Shipley wrote before adding objections to language prosecutors used.

To wit, the attorney objects to the use of the word “swarm” in the government’s sentencing memorandum to describe the crowd.

The attorney disclosed that Bozell and his wife have “chosen not to reveal” details of his prosecution to their two daughters since it would be too stressful. Seeking leniency, the attorney added that Bozell and his wife seek to keep “a safe and welcoming environment in their home and to help those in need in their community.”

This is especially the case when “Mr. Bozell’s daughters’ friends have been in tough situations,” so he and his wife have opened their home to them and have become a place where a “loving family environment” is nurtured, Shipley wrote.

Prosecutors must balance the severity of Bozell’s actions on Jan.6 against other rioter sentences. Notably, prosecutors compared his conduct to that of imprisoned Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola. Pezzola, like Bozell, smashed open a window to gain entry to the Capitol and let rioters pour inside.

Pezzola went on trial for four months alongside leaders of the Proud Boys and though only he was acquitted on the sedition charge, Pezzola was found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent members of Congress and federal law enforcement officers from discharging their duties, civil disorder, and destruction of government property. He was also found guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and robbery since he forcibly removed one officer’s riot shield. He received 10 years for the 23 minutes he spent inside the Capitol.

Bozell’s actions were “more extensive” then Pezzola’s, since he was inside for nearly an hour, Akers wrote.

This and his “fantastical testimony and lack of remorse” at the bench trial punctuated the need for a stiff sentence.

“In short, the defendant’s offenses displayed a clear intent to stop Congress from certifying the results of the election through the use of both physical force and property destruction. That conduct is a quintessential example of intent to influence and retaliate against government conduct through intimidation or coercion and warrants the application of the terrorism enhancement,” Akers wrote.

Bozell will be sentenced on May 17.

READ 26 COMMENTS
  • JP says:

    While I’m not defending this guy… California lets mobs of looters steal whatever they want from retail stores with zero punishment…

    BLM has broken windows and gone into businesses and stolen and burned stores to the ground.

    Are we SURE we care if this guy climbed through a window?

    If the answer is yes, then we need to punish the people in the above examples as well.

    It’s OK to burn a city down if George Floyd, the drug addict felon, gets killed by dirty pigs but it’s not OK to be mad about a stolen election?

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