Jan 6 rioter’s ‘incredibly offensive’ shirt becomes bone of contention while sentenced to the slammer

The man spotted wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to 75 days in jail for the misdemeanor crime of “parading,” and whatever you may think, the sentence had absolutely nothing to do with his “incredibly offensive” clothing.

At least, that’s what U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, defense attorney Stephen Brennwald, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst want to be sure everyone knows, because doling out a harsher sentence for someone because they wore something that offends people would be a violation of the First Amendment, and no one wants to be accused of doing that, especially for political gain.

To be sure, Robert Keith Packer, 57, has vile taste in clothing. Under the sweatshirt, he was wearing an “SS”  t-shirt.

This is not someone even the most MAGA of MAGA Republicans would want over for tea.

But, while Packer may have embodied the left’s vision of Nazi-loving Trump supporters, the bigger question needs to be why his clothing was a subject of discussion in the first place.

Packer, who told the FBI he was standing 12 feet from fellow protestor Ashli Babbitt when she was shot dead, hadn’t pled guilty to a hate crime.

His “parading” in a Capitol building would not have been less of a misdemeanor had he been wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt.

So why would his reprehensible wardrobe come up at sentencing? When did the fashion police get involved?

We aren’t sure, but Furst declared that she had first learned of Packer’s “SS” t-shirt on Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail.

As Packer’s attorney, Brennwald argued the obvious while denouncing his client.

“It’s just awful that he wore that shirt that day,” he stated. “I just don’t think it’s appropriate to give him extra time because of that because he’s allowed to wear it.”

But while Judge Nichols assured all who were listening that his clothing did not determine his sentence, he was sure there was meaning behind it, even if it had absolutely nothing to do with Packer breaking any laws.

“‘It seems to me that he wore that sweatshirt for a reason,” the judge speculated. “We don’t know what the reason was because Mr. Packer hasn’t told us.”

According to Furst, when he entered the Capitol building, Packer “attacked the very government that gave him the freedom to express those beliefs, no matter how abhorrent or evil they may be.”

He “‘wanted to support the subversion of our republic and keep a dictatorial ruler in place by force and violence,” she argued to the judge.

Brennwald, on the other hand, argued that labeling Packer as a white supremacist is offensive to the activist, “because he doesn’t see himself that way at all.”

And as juicy as the arguments are, neither of them spoke to the damage and destruction that can be unleashed when people “parade.”

As Kimberly Rice noted in a letter to Judge Nichols that asked for leniency for her badly dressed brother, while Packer’s sweatshirt “could be considered in poor taste,” “freedom of expression” is not a crime.

While Brennwald was hoping to secure probation with no jail time for his client — a man who has roughly 21 convictions for real crimes such as drunk driving — prosecutors sought the 75 days and 36 months of probation.

“At 75 days, Robert Packer will serve one of the lengthier sentences handed down to Jan. 6 defendants who pleaded guilty to the parading charge,” WUSA9 investigative reporter Jordan Fischer tweeted following the sentencing. “Another, Robert Reeder, received 90 days only after Sedition Hunters surfaced new video of him.”


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