'You've disgraced this country': Judge rips Capitol riot defendant

3 min read
"I find it outrageous that American citizens would do what you did," George W. Bush appointee Reggie Walton said following a Florida man's guilty plea.
Most of Mariotto's half-hour-long plea hearing was routine in nature, as the judge led the defendant through a fairly standard series of questions about his competence to enter a plea and about the consequences of doing so.

However, as the subject turned to whether Mariotto should be detained pending sentencing, Walton's voice rose and he unleashed an angry fusillade over the storming of the Capitol earlier this year as lawmakers were preparing to certify Joe Biden's win in the presidential race.

"I have real concerns about what you and the other people" did, said the judge, an appointee of former President George W. Bush. "It was an attack on our government, and I love my government. This government has been good to me. To see somebody destroy, or try to destroy, the Capitol is very troubling to me."

Walton noted that he routinely travels overseas to advise other governments on judicial and legal issues. Now, that task will be more complicated and his credibility will be undercut, the judge declared.

"America was not great on that day and I'm sure when I go to other jurisdictions to say how they can be like America, they'll say: 'Why should I want to be like America when you all are trying to tear down your own country.' I find it very troubling."

Walton also expressed fears that the Jan. 6 rioters had set a precedent that could lead to…
Josh Gerstein, Kyle Cheney
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