Joe Biggs, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy earlier this year for his role in the Jan 6 riot at the US Capitol, was sentenced to 17 years in prison this week. Prosecutors had sought a 33-year sentence for Biggs.
Following his sentencing, he made a jailhouse phone call on Saturday to Infowars, the conspiracy theory show hosted by firebrand Alex Jones.
Biggs, a former correspondent for Infowars, complained on-air about the quality of prison food and asked viewers to donate to help support his family. He also shared that his military pension had been revoked due to his conviction.
He said that he hopes Mr Trump wins in 2024 - because he is certain that the Republican will pardon him. "I know he'll pardon me. I believe that with all my heart," Biggs told Jones.
Jones insisted that “they set us all up” on January 6, 2021, and said “you were all patsys that day, Joe,” before asking his viewers to donate to Biggs’ fundraising efforts.
Mr Trump hasn’t said whether or not he’ll consider pardons for the Proud Boys specifically, but did mention during his CNN Townhall that he would consider pardoning a “large portion” of the Capitol riot defendants.
At trial, Bigg's attorney defended his client by blaming the Jan 6 riot on Mr Trump. Norm Pattis, who represented Biggs, said the "commander-in-chief" had "sold them a lie," according to NBC News.
Prior to his sentencing, Biggs apologised and admitted that he "messed up."
“I apologize for my rhetoric,” Biggs said and blamed his state of mind on an incident in which another family member allegedly molested his daughter.
“I’m so sorry. ... I’m not a terrorist. I don’t have hate in my heart.”
Proud Boys Leader Joe Biggs who was sentenced to 17 years in prison tells Alex Jones he knows Trump will pardon him:
"I know Donald Trump will pardon us and he should... We're his supporters; we went there like he asked."
Trump must never return to the WH. Never. pic.twitter.com/6R6IjyF4Iy
— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) September 3, 2023
On the day of the riot, Biggs took a selfie video and said: "January 6th will be a day in infamy."
Prosecutors argued during the trial that he had become a "vocal leader and influential proponent of the [Proud Boys] shift toward political violence," and that he used his "outsized public profile" and military background to lead "a revolt against the government in an effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power."
Biggs' sentence included a terrorism enhancement, a result of his tearing down of a fence that separated the rioters and the police on 6 January 2021. The judge ruled that it was a "deliberate, meaningful step" that contributed to the chaos and destruction of the incident.
The Proud Boys leader was convicted in May on charges including seditious conspiracy; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding; conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to prevent officers of the U.S. from discharging their duties; interference with law enforcement during civil disorder; and destruction of government property.
He was one of five Proud Boy leaders who were tried for seditious conspiracy.
Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola were all also charged with felonies, though Mr Pezzola escaped the seditious conspiracy charge.
Mr Rehl was also sentenced on Thursday, and received a 15-year prison sentence. Mr Pezzola was sentenced on 1 September to 10-years in prison with three years of supervised release. Mr Nordean was also sentenced on 1 September, and received an 18-year prison sentence, tying for the longest sentence handed down for a crime committed in connection with the Capitol riot.
Mr Tarrio’s sentencing was delayed, and will now occur on 5 September.