Capitol Rioter Convicted After Judge Slams His Defense As ‘Gobbledygook’

A man who prosecutors said led a violent mob against police during the 2021 Capitol insurrection has been convicted of multiple felonies, after representing himself in court with what the judge reportedly called a “gobbledygook” defense.

Taylor James Johnatakis, of Kingston, Washington, was convicted by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday of seven charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

His three felony offenses were for obstructing an official proceeding; civil disorder; and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. His four misdemeanor convictions were for entering and remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building; and engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building.

Rioters loyal to then-President Donald Trump are seen storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters loyal to then-President Donald Trump are seen storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

via Associated Press

Prosecutors said Johnatakis directed a crowd of rioters to grab metal bike racks and thrust them against a line of police officers who were attempting to protect the Capitol. At least one of the officers was injured, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Johnatakis told the judge that he wanted to accept “full liability” for the charges, but he refused to plead guilty. He argued that he is a “sovereign citizen” exempt from U.S. law, according to NBC News.

“I have repented all my sins,” he reportedly said while asking the judge to “discharge” the case against him.

The judge summarized Johnatakis’ sovereign citizen claims as “bullshit” and “gobbledygook,” according to NBC News.

The number of people claiming to be part of the anti-government “sovereign citizen” movement has grown since the coronavirus pandemic and with the help of QAnon conspiracy theorists, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Johnatakis had called QAnon conspiracy theories “a good source” in an episode of his podcast that was posted a few days after the insurrection, according to the Kitsap Sun.

“We overlap with a lot of things Q believers believe in, but there is a difference,” Johnatakis said on the podcast. “Q is not my idol, Q is not my god.”

Johnatakis will be sentenced at a later date by the federal judge.

More than 1,200 people, including people from all 50 states, have so far been charged for crimes related to the Jan. 6 assault at the Capitol.

Also on Tuesday, Gabriel Augustin Garcia of Miami, a member of the Proud Boys, was convicted of two felony charges related to his actions at the Capitol. He is set to be sentenced in March.

Fellow Floridians Jamie Buteau and Jennifer Peck Buteau were also sentenced on Monday for their roles in the Capitol attack.

Jamie Buteau, of Ocala, will serve 22 months in prison for the felony offense of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. Jennifer, his wife, will serve 90 days on a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, the Justice Department announced.

An Ohio man was also arrested Tuesday for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in relation to the attack. Matthew Honigford, of Delphos, allegedly assaulted a police officer with a flagpole and pushed against a police line with a metal barrier during the violence.

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