Justice Department offers plea deal to Capitol rioter who wore ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt
The Justice Department has offered a plea deal to the US Capitol rioter who wore a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt, prosecutors said Tuesday at a court hearing.
Robert Packer of Virginia went viral during the January 6 attack because of the brazenly anti-Semitic nature of his sweatshirt. He was arrested in January and charged with two misdemeanors. He has pleaded not guilty, but prosecutors said Tuesday that they offered him a deal to plead guilty.
Prosecutors didn’t provide details about the offer. But similarly situated rioters, who were only charged with low-level crimes and aren’t accused of any violence, have pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of illegally demonstrating inside the Capitol.
That crime could lead to a six-month jail sentence, though many defendants could receive much less than that.
The plea offer is part of a larger effort by the Justice Department to resolve the low-level cases in the Capitol riot. Hundreds of people are only charged with trespassing-style offenses. While hundreds of others are accused of much more serious crimes — like assaulting police officers, conspiracy, or bringing weapons to the Capitol — and some have said they want to go to trial.
During the brief hearing in DC District Court, Packer’s defense attorney said he needed more time to discuss the potential plea bargain with his client. The next hearing is slated for October.
CNN was first to identify Packer as the man who wore the “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt, which references one of the extermination camps that the Nazis used to kill Jewish people during the Holocaust. Many members of the pro-Trump mob on January 6 have espoused anti-Semitic views, and senior US officials have said white supremacists played a role in the insurrection.
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