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Feds nab woman accused of encouraging attack on NY Times photog during Capitol riot

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Federal authorities have arrested a Pennsylvania woman who took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol protest for allegedly entering the building and encouraging people to attack a New York Times photographer while she took video.

According to court documents obtained by The Washington Post, the woman, Sandra Weyer, has been charged with obstructing Congress in the performance of its duties to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

But also, authorities have charged her with four counts of trespassing along with disruptive and disorderly conduct, all of which are misdemeanors.

Officials noted in the charging documents that authorities identified Weyer, in part, through photos posted to social media which lined up with video taken from inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. Weyer can be seen in the videos allegedly attempting to goad people into assaulting a New York Times photographer.

The paper reported that the photographer, Erin Schaff, noted in an account published by her paper that she was attacked on the day of the protest and knocked to the floor of the Capitol, breaking a camera. She also said that some in the crowd were angrily pressing her to identify the news agency that employed her.

The Post reported further that FBI agents analyzing video saw Weyer hollering at a photographer and called her a “traitor” while pressing other demonstrators to “mace her!” In another video, Weyer is seen describing the photographer as being “anti-Trump, let’s put it that way, that’s why they removed her.”

Weyer’s arrest is the latest involving Jan. 6 protesters as authorities proceed in identifying participants and tracking them down. It comes amid the first sentencing in connection with the protest — an Indiana woman has been ordered to pay a fine amounting to $500 and perform 120 hours of community service followed by a three-year probation, reports said.

Anna Morgan-Lloyd, 49, pleaded guilty to protesting within the Capitol Building, which led federal prosecutors to drop three additional misdemeanor charges in exchange.

“I would just like to apologize to the court, the American people, and my family,” Morgan-Lloyd said to U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. “I went there to show support for President Trump peacefully, and I’m ashamed that it became a savage display of violence.”

According to court documents, Morgan-Lloyd posted glowing comments to social media in the days following the protest and the breach of the Capitol Building.

“It was a day I’ll remember forever. I’m proud that I was part of it!” she wrote in one.

“That was the most exciting day of my life,” she added in another post, according to court papers.

Prosecutors remarked, however, that her initial confidence “appears to have been tempered by a realization of the consequences of her actions.”

Illegally demonstrating in the U.S. Capitol Building carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, but because she cooperated, expressed remorse, and did not have a prior criminal record, federal prosecutors agreed to lesser charges, NBC News added.

Morgan-Lloyd’s attorney, Heather Shaner of Washington, D.C., said her client “does not intend or expect to ever again break the law.”

Jon Dougherty

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