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Attorney blames 'wild conspiracy theorist' Trump in Capitol riot sentencing

Julia Sizer will spend a year on probation and pay a $2,000 fine for her role in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.

WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania woman never would have been in a courtroom at all if it weren’t for former President Donald Trump, her defense attorney told a federal judge Tuesday.

Julia Sizer, of Pennsylvania, appeared before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper for sentencing on one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Sizer traveled to D.C. with her husband on Jan. 6 and entered the Capitol as part of a pro-Trump mob before leaving a few minutes later.

The Justice Department, which asked for her to serve 60 days of home detention and three years of probation, said Sizer may have gone further if her way wasn’t blocked. But it was the timing of Sizer’s entrance into the building that Cooper came back to.

Cooper asked Sizer if she was aware of Ashli Babbitt, the U.S. Air Force veteran who was shot and killed while attempting to climb through a window into the Speaker’s Lobby. Sizer said she had seen a short video clip, and Cooper told her she’d entered the building just four minutes after Babbitt had been shot. He said many more rioters, including Sizer, could have been killed if police didn’t show the restraint they did.

“There were five people who died that day, and another four police officers who’ve taken their lives since then,” Cooper said.

Sizer’s attorney, Robert E. Mielnicki, told Cooper the Jan. 6 case was the first time in his career he watched a crime unfold on his television screen before charges had even been filed. He said he believed Sizer, once she realized what actually happened at the Capitol, was as shocked as the rest of the country.

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Mielnicki said Sizer “has done what she’s supposed to do” for her entire life up until this point. In his sentencing memo, he noted she started her own small business as a nail technician. He described her as remorseful and embarrassed, and said it was his opinion that Trump was to blame for what happened on Jan. 6.

“This is Counsel saying this, not Defendant, but if a wild conspiracy theorist like Donald Trump was never elected, Defendant would have lived the remainder of her life without ever appearing before a judge,” Mielnicki wrote.

Mielnicki said the DOJ’s request for three years of probation was excessive. He suggested, instead, a sentence of one year of probation and a $5,000 fine. Cooper ultimately landed on a year of probation and a $2,000 fine for Sizer.

“Good luck, Miss Sizer,” Cooper said at the close of the hearing. “Noting personal, but I’d just as soon as not see you again.”

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