The Infowars host who was sentenced to prison this week in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach said he'll take his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
Infowars host Owen Shroyer told Tim Pool's show on Sept. 12 that he plans to appeal the case after his sentencing of 60 days in jail, saying there are "questions" about the process and whether it'll be denied. His lawyer told the court that an appeal will soon be filed, he said.
"We believe that this is an important enough case to make it to the Supreme Court, and maybe that's where we prefer this case ends up is at the Supreme Court because we believe it is that big of a free speech issue," Mr. Shroyer said on Sept. 12.
At least for now, according to Mr. Shroyer, an appeal would also allow him to not be incarcerated and instead remain under his "strict probation."
Mr. Shroyer, a journalist, never entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but prosecutors claimed that he shouted slogans that made the crowd of protesters agitated before they entered the building. They argued that some people who entered the Capitol listened to his chanting.
Notably, he yelled "1776." The judge, Timothy Kelly, told him that he had no issue with the "1776" phrase but alleged that Mr. Shroyer was “amping up the crowd with a bullhorn.”
Mr. Shroyer argued that he was using the bullhorn "to get the attention and draw the crowds away," noting that he wasn't attempting to stir up the crowd.
“I don’t think you were trying to distract the crowd or move the crowd away from the Capitol,” Judge Kelly said, claiming that Mr. Shroyer's role as a journalist didn't play any role in the ultimate sentence.
Federal prosecutors wanted the Infowars host to serve 120 days in jail, but the judge cut the sentence down to 60 days.
Previously, Mr. Shroyer admitted to entering a restricted area during the breach. In June, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining on restricted grounds.
They said he could be heard on video saying, "We march for the Capitol because on this historic January 6, 2021, we have to let our congressmen and women know, and we have to let [Vice President] Mike Pence know, they stole the election, we know they stole it, and we aren’t going to accept it."
Mr. Shroyer's lawyers said he attended as a journalist and was covering the event to report on it. While he was there, they argued, he didn't commit any acts of violence or attempt to impede or obstruct the proceedings.
Some critics have said that the sentence is an affront to the First Amendment and should be appealed.
Responding to the case, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wrote on social media that "there is no greater threat to the First Amendment than the use of police power to silence political dissent."
He noted that if he were elected president, he would immediately "pardon all non-violent Jan 6 protesters & political prisoners."
Another Infowars employee, Samuel Montoya, was sentenced in April to four months of home detention. He entered the Capitol and notably recorded a Capitol Police officer shooting and killing protester Ashli Babbitt, one of several Trump supporters who died that day.
Some 1,100 people have been charged with federal crimes in connection to the Jan. 6 breach, and more than 650 have entered guilty pleas. About 600 have been sentenced, with several receiving prison terms of more than 20 years.
Mr. Shroyer signed an agreement in 2019 after he interrupted an impeachment-related congressional hearing that he wouldn't use "loud, threatening or abusive language, or ... engage in any disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place upon the United States Capitol Grounds."
Mr. Pattis also told media outlets that prosecutors probed Mr. Shroyer's phone to find any links among President Trump, Infowars chief Alex Jones, and the Jan. 6 incident. They found nothing, he said.