Robert Scott Palmer was called by HuffPost and he turned himself in.
Illustration: HuffPost; Photos: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock/Getty

Florida man attacked law enforcement officers in Florida on Jan. 6. He was wearing an American flag sweatshirt that featured the name and initials of former President Obama. Donald TrumpHe was sentenced for 63 months federal prison. This is the longest sentence in relation to the Capitol riot.

Robert Scott Palmer, also called #FloridaFlagJacket online sleuths investigating the Capitol attackThe arrest of a. FBIJust 12 days later, he died. named in a HuffPost story in March. After he had attacked cops with a fire extinguisher and was beaten, Palmer gave his name to the Capitol livestreamer.

When HuffPost called Palmer after being tipped off by an online sleuths, the Florida man said the Biden administration was trying to “vilify the patriots” who took part in the Capitol attack. When asked about the fire extinguisher he hanged up. FacebookHe hired a lawyer and surrendered to police shortly after. He pleaded guiltyIn October and was taken into custody in D.C. prison.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan had previously previously expressed concern that Capitol rioters weren’t serving long enough sentences for their conduct, sentenced Palmer on Friday. This is a letter to Chutkan ahead of his sentencing, Palmer claimed that he recognized that “Trump supporters were lied to” by former President Trump and those acting on his behalf.

“They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny,” Palmer wrote. “Little did I realize that they were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost even by creating the chaos they knew would happen with such rhetoric.”

In court on Friday, Palmer told Chutkan he was “really, really ashamed of what I did” and that he would “never, ever, ever” go to a political rally again. While behind bars, he said, he used an educational electronic pad to watch a clip of himself on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show that showed him attacking cops, and told Chutkan he “was horrified” by the video.

Federal prosecutors had requested that Palmer serve more than five years in federal prison, which is the longest sentence they’ve yet requested in connection with the Capitol attack. They cited his quote to HuffPost, saying Palmer had told a reporter, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

One of the online sleuths who helped identify Palmer and tipped off HuffPost is a woman named “Amy” who started looking for participants in the Jan. 6 attack when she was home sick with COVID-19 last January.

“The more that I watched [from the insurrection] the more that I felt like I had lost control over what this country was supposed to be,” she told HuffPost. “Spending that time searching was a way to regain control of the situation for me.”

Nearly a year after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, the hunt by the online “Sedition Hunters” community continues. According to court papers, FBI highlights the importance of internet sleuths. They will play a significant role in many Jan. 6 cases.

While more than 700 defendants have been charged so far, the total number of potential defendants who engaged in chargeable conduct ― meaning they either unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol or engaged in violence outside ― is more than 2,500. This week, the FBI’s Capitol Violence website featured more than 350 individuals accused of violent conduct who haven’t yet been arrested.


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