A Delaware business owner has been sentenced to 30 days in jail storming the US Capitol after watching the riot break out on TV from a Tinder date and taking an Uber ride to join the mob attack, court records show.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan also ordered Friday Jeffrey Schaefer pay a $2,000 fine and $500 in restitution for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 riot in Washington.
On the eve of then-President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, Schaefer drove from Delaware to northern Virginia to spend the night at the home of a woman he had met on the dating app Tinder line. The next day, he decided to take an Uber ride to the Capitol after watching the riots unfold on television at his date’s house in Alexandria.
“He had the Uber driver drop him off near the west front of the Capitol and he approached the Capitol from that drop-off point.” Justice Department prosecutor Anita Eve wrote in a court filing.
Schaefer entered the Capitol through a broken window near the doors to the Senate wing, joined other rioters in chanting and spent roughly 28 minutes inside the building before exiting through a door, prosecutors said . He posted several pictures of the riot on Facebook, including one showing a bunch of destroyed media equipment.
Schaefer, 36, of Milton, Del., was arrested in January 2022. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of marching, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of six months behind bars.
Defense attorney Joshua Insley noted that Schaefer was not accused of engaging in any violence or destructive behavior on January 6, when Congress had convened a joint session to certify the results of President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Schaefer owns a charter transportation company based in Milton. Once a “committed supporter” of Trump, Schaefer now believes he was “manipulated and used by those in power and will never face any consequences,” his attorney said.
“While Mr. Schaefer accepts responsibility for his actions, he was guided and urged every step of the way by no less an authority than the President of the United States and a majority of Republican senators and representatives who continued to repeat the ‘ big lie’ “that the election had been stolen by the Democrats,” Insley wrote.
More than 900 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riots. More than 460 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. More than 320 of them have been convicted, with about half of them receiving prison terms ranging from seven days to 10 years.
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