Pictures of Packer sporting the sweatshirt went viral after the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. When FBI brokers requested him why he wore it, he “fatuously” replied, “As a result of I used to be chilly,” a federal prosecutor mentioned in a courtroom submitting.
Packer’s sweatshirt depicted a picture of a human cranium above the phrases “Camp Auschwitz.” The phrase “Employees” was on the again. It additionally bore the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a tough translation of the German phrases above the doorway gate to Auschwitz, the focus camp in occupied Poland the place Nazis killed greater than 1 million males, ladies and youngsters.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Mona Furst mentioned she realized on Wednesday that Packer additionally wore an “SS” T-shirt — a reference to the Nazi Celebration paramilitary group based by Adolf Hitler — below his sweatshirt on Jan. 6. Packer “attacked the very authorities that gave him the liberty to precise these beliefs, regardless of how abhorrent or evil they could be” when he joined the mob supporting then-President Donald Trump, the prosecutor mentioned
Packer “wished to help the subversion of our republic and maintain a dictatorial ruler in place by pressure and violence,” Furst advised the decide.
Protection legal professional Stephen Brennwald acknowledged that Packer’s apparel was “severely offensive” however argued that it shouldn’t be a sentencing issue as a result of he has a free speech proper to put on it.
“It’s simply terrible that he wore that shirt that day. I simply don’t suppose it’s acceptable to provide him additional time due to that as a result of he’s allowed to put on it,” he mentioned.
Brennwald added that Packer was offended and indignant to be labeled a white supremacist “as a result of he doesn’t see himself that manner in any respect.” The protection lawyer mentioned Packer wished him to sue Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi for linking him to white supremacy throughout a press convention a number of days after the riot.
Packer declined to talk throughout Thursday’s listening to as a result of he didn’t need his phrases “splashed on the market” on social media, his lawyer advised the decide.
Packer, a resident of Newport Information, Virginia, pleaded responsible in January to a misdemeanor depend of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol constructing, which carries a most sentence of six months of imprisonment.
Packer advised the FBI that he was about 10 to 12 ft away from a rioter, Ashli Babbitt, when a police officer fatally shot her as she tried to climb by the damaged window of a barricaded door resulting in the Speaker’s Foyer.
“He advised the brokers he heard the shot and noticed her fall again from the window she was attempting to climb by,” Furst wrote in a courtroom submitting.
Furst mentioned Packer didn’t specific any regret throughout his FBI interview.
“He was extra concerned with relaying how he obtained hate mail and the way he was ‘hounded’ by the media for interviews,” she added.
Packer’s youthful sister, Kimberly Rice, wrote a letter asking the decide for leniency. She mentioned her brother’s sweatshirt “might be thought of in poor style” however added that “freedom of expression” isn’t against the law.
Prosecutors had really helpful a sentence of 75 days of incarceration adopted by 36 months of probation. Brennwald sought a probationary sentence with no jail time.
FBI brokers arrested Packer per week after the riot. He has remained free whereas awaiting sentencing.
Packer is a self-employed pipe fitter. Prosecutors say he has a prolonged felony report, with roughly 21 convictions, largely for drunken driving and different motorcar violations.
Greater than 870 folks have been charged with federal crimes for his or her conduct on Jan. 6. Roughly 400 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanor offenses. Over 250 riot defendants have been sentenced, with roughly half getting phrases of imprisonment starting from seven days to 10 years.