WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Tuesday it will not bring new charges against a Maryland man in connection with the Capitol riot, despite video surfaced on the day of his sentencing appearing to show him in an altercation with police on January 6.
Robert Reeder was scheduled to be sentenced August 18 on one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. However, hours before that hearing, a group of online sleuths calling themselves Sedition Hunters posted new footage from the Capitol riot appearing to show Reeder in a shoving match with police on the Capitol steps.
Reeder was never charged with assault in the case, and told investigators he never made physical contact with police on January 6. His attorney, Robert Bonsib, had portrayed him “as more an observer than a participant” in the riot, according to U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan.
On Tuesday, the DOJ did just that in a filing in D.C. District Court. In its filing, prosecutors said the “additional unlawful conduct” in the videos warranted an increased sentence of 6 months – but also said that they did not intend to bring further charges.
The new videos resulted in a continuance of the hearing, and the DOJ said last month they were considering increasing their request for Reeder, which had been 2 months behind bars, to 6 months behind bars.
The DOJ’s decision means Reeder’s potential maximum sentence will stay at 6 months behind bars. Simple assault on a federal officer is a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to 1 year in prison. Assault on a federal officer where physical contact occurs is a Class D felony that carries up to 8 years in prison.
In his previous sentencing memo, Bonsib argued that 2 years of probation was an appropriate penalty for Reeder. As of Tuesday, he had not filed any supplemental motions in the case, although he had until Friday to do so.
Reeder is scheduled to be back in court on October 8 for his sentencing hearing.
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