The attack on the United States capitol that took place on January 6, 2021 will live on in the American historical zeitgeist with events such as Kennedy’s assassination and the 9/11 terrorist attack. The information that has come out about that day in the months and years since has only made an already unsettling even more chilling.

Stunning Footage From January 6

The footage that was revealed during the congressional investigation and subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump over the January 6 attack was nothing short of enlightening. Though many Americans watched the capitol be stormed from the outside as the event was happening, what was happening inside the building was so much worse.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler from USA

Even the photography and videos that was taken by the individuals who participated in the capitol attack didn’t showcase everything. Americans saw photos of congressional offices being broken into and windows at the capitol being smashed, but that wasn’t the end of it.

Capitol Police Were Assaulted

Among other things, one of the most shocking sights that happened that day were the capitol police who were assaulted by individuals who claimed to be “pro-law enforcement.” Multiple officers were trampled and beaten by those who were there to raid the capitol building, and there were multiple casualties of police officers from the events of that day.

Source: Wikimedia/Cliff

Capitol officers were not the only ones who perished during January 6, though. The story of Ashli Babbitt, one of the individuals participating in the capitol raid, has become famous in the years since she passed. Some believe that she was an American hero, and some believe that she was an insurrectionist who got what she deserved due to her actions.

A Play-by-Play Record is Available

The events that transpired on the day the election was ultimately certified were horrifying, not least because modern technology means that the American public has minute-by-minute record of it all. What the individuals who participated in the “Stop the Steal” Rally were ultimately therefore is deeply concerning, not only for law enforcement, but for democracy itself.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

The seriousness of their intent could be why those individuals have been so harshly prosecuted in the years since January 6 occurred. Hundreds of individuals have been arrested in regards to their participation in the January 6 riot, with individuals up to former President Donald Trump facing potential penalties for the events of that day.

Individuals Charged

The crimes that these individuals have been charged with have ranged from those as minor as loitering on the steps of the capitol, all the way up to seditious conspiracy. Members of far-right white supremacist and terror groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been arrested and charged with serious crimes.

Source: Wikimedia/January 6 Committee

Some of the members who have been charged include Enrique Tarrio and Joseph Biggs of the Proud Boys organization, and Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers. Rhodes in particular is a significant charge. He founded the Oath Keepers, and up to the point where he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, he was the leader of the Oath Keeper organization.

A Significant Number of People Sentenced

While there are many individuals who have yet to be caught or charged with crimes regarding the January 6 attack on the capitol, the number of people who will be serving prison terms for their participation in the events of that day is still significant.

Source: Wikimedia/US Capitol Police security camera footage

Some individuals have even faced extended sentences for their participation in the events of that day, due to a lack of remorse on their part. James Little was successfully able to argue that his punishment for his participation that day was illegal, but was rewarded with even more time in prison due to evidence of a lack of remorse both from the man’s own testimony and the testimony of a parole officer.

Good News for Justice

It hasn’t all been bad news for the Justice Department, though. A significant number of the individuals who were charged regarding their participation on January 6 have already faced trial, and been given sentences befitting the crime that they’ve been charged with.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

More importantly, the Justice Department has managed to gain a significant number of important witnesses in their pursuit of justice. Some individuals who have been charged with crimes regarding January 6 have taken plea deals in exchange for their testimony, to the benefit of all parties involved.

About James Breheny

James Breheny, a regional Oath Keepers organizer, is one such individual. He was a New Jersey-based organizer who is no longer a part of the Oath Keepers organization, and pled guilty to a felony regarding his role in the capitol attack last year.

Source: Washington D.C. Department of Justice

As part of his plea deal, Breheny acknowledged that he entered the capitol building, in part, to aid in the attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Prior to his plea, he faced several more charges including violent entry into the capitol and other crimes.

A Light Sentence

Breheny was one of the individuals who communicated with other militia members before the attack, though prosecutors in his case were clear in the fact that he did not actively plan the attack, and was not involved in discussions that planned for violence.

Source: Seditionhunters

His lack of participation in these crucial conversations regarding the violence that occurred on January 6 is, in part, why Breheny got off with such a light sentence. On Friday, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation, the first months of which will be served as home detention.

Clarifications on Breheny’s Role

Despite the clarification regarding his role in January 6, prosecutors did say that he “joined the mob outside the East Rotunda Doors that forced entry into the capitol, and thus participated in the violence.”

Source: Seditionhunters

At the same time, they acknowledge the “fulsome, credible, and relevant” information that he provided about other criminal defendants, including Stewart Rhodes and other members. They explained that he was “cooperative and truthful” with law enforcement, mere days after the attack.

Credit Where Credit is Due

In court, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, who has handled a number of cases surrounding the capitol attack, including that of Stewart Rhodes, said that Breheny was the first member who came forth and was willing to testify and cooperate with the law.

Source: Wikimedia/Anthony Crider

According to the judge, Breheny deserved some credit for coming forth with the information that he had. He stressed that there was risk involved with Breheny cooperating against the members of the Oath Keepers, and that his role in helping bring them down was significant.

Breheny Admitting Guilt

As part of his guilty plea, Breheny signed a statement of offense, confirming the key details of the government’s case against him. The statement explained that certain members of the Oath keepers “mobilized to prevent the transfer of power,” and “believe that the federal government has been co opted by a cabal of elites actively trying to strip American citizens of their rights.”

Source: Wsoctv

The maximum sentence for the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting was up to 20 years, but prosecutor’s in Breheny’s case only sought probation and restitution due to Breheny’s early and complete cooperation in the case. The information that he provided was willing and truthful, and was able to be corroborated by other witnesses and evidence.

Restitution for the United States Government

As prosecutions regarding the January 6 capitol attack have gone on, there are some who have called the individuals waiting to face trial “political prisoners.” As can be seen with the case of James Breheny, the goal is not political persecution, but rather restitution for heinous acts against the United States government.

Source: Wikimedia/Anthony Crider

Those who have proven their willingness to accept responsibility are, understandably, seeing lighter sentences. While this fact won’t change anyone’s mind if they’ve already decided that these individuals have been wrongly convicted, it’s important to remember that justice is carried out in a way that is not always understandable, but almost always fair.