A thread, if you'll indulge me.

Tomorrow, a federal judge will hand down what will almost certainly be the strongest U.S. Capitol attack sentence to date.

But this story really starts with "Amy" and a team of citizens who came together on this very website after Jan. 6.
Last January, when Amy was at home isolating with COVID, she sickened by the brutal attack she saw unfolding at the U.S. Capitol.

The feds said they needed help. So Amy joined the hunt.

As she watched footage of the awful assault on officers in the tunnel at the top of the inauguration platform, one suspect really jumped out at her.

It was a man in an American flag sweatshirt emblazoned with Trump's name.

The FBI was overwhelmed. But a growing community of online sleuths from all walks of life were putting pieces of the puzzle together using whatever skills they could bring to the table. huffpost.com/entry/sedition…
The FBI wasn't build for this kind of massive digital manhunt. For the first few weeks, in fact, the bureau was issuing PDFs featuring 10 tiny thumbnail photos of potential suspects. (They've since upgraded a bit.) huffpost.com/entry/fbi-capi…
The Capitol investigation is incomprehensibly large, and the FBI is a massive bureaucracy with a lot of silos. They were dealing with literally hundreds of thousands of tips. They didn't have the manpower to scour hours and hours of public video. huffpost.com/entry/fanone-t…
Americans were turning in people they knew personally (or at least knew from social media) left and right: huffpost.com/entry/facebook…
But in those early days, the budding #SeditionHunters community was doing critical work that is still paying off today and will continue to pay off going forward. (Remember, they're still a very long road ahead!) huffpost.com/entry/feds-mad…
A key power of the #SeditionHunters community early on was seizing the power of the crowd. You needed lots of eyes.

That's how someone found #FloridaFlagJacket, who'd assaulted police officers with a fire extinguisher, saying his name on a livestream.

Amy turned Robert Scott Palmer into the FBI. But her tip got buried in an overwhelmed bureaucracy. Weeks after she's already correctly identified Palmer, the FBI added his image to their website, looking for tips. huffpost.com/entry/robert-p…
After we identified Danny Rodriguez as the rioter who electroshocked Officer Mike Fanone, Amy reached out. huffpost.com/entry/fanone-t…
Amy had the goods, and she trusted us to tell the story. So @JessReports gave Robert Scott Palmer a ring. He thought he'd gotten away with it. huffpost.com/entry/robert-p…
He had not. Palmer lawyered up and turned himself into the FBI just 12 days later. huffpost.com/entry/florida-…
The story behind Robert Scott Palmer's identification -- self-doxxing in a livestream -- looks fairly simple if you compared it to some of the more mind-blowing and technologically sophisticated finds by online sleuths: huffpost.com/entry/logan-ba…
But imagine how much longer this case may have took if it wasn't for citizen efforts. There was even a case where a rioter said his name on police body camera that took longer because the video wasn't publicly available. huffpost.com/entry/nicholas…
Which brings us to this week. Robert Scott Palmer now says he realizes that he was conned by a "false narrative about a stolen election," and says he now realizes Trump and his team "were the tyrannical ones desperate to hold on to power at any cost." huffpost.com/entry/trump-li…
Robert Scott Palmer has been locked up since his guilty plea in October. Tomorrow, he'll appear before Judge Tanya Chutkan to learn his fate. DOJ is seeking more than five years in federal prison. Stay tuned.

After he assaulted cops during the Capitol attack, Robert Scott Palmer’s Facebook page looked just as you’d imagine it would.

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More from @ryanjreilly

17 Dec
BREAKING: Robert Scott Palmer -- who attacked cops at the Capitol while wearing an American flag jacket emblazoned with Trump’s name — gets more than five years in federal prison.

That's the longest sentence in a Jan. 6 case to date. #FloridaFlagJacket

Online sleuths were at the center of this case. Here's how we got here:
“U.S. Marshals ran from this courthouse to the Capitol. They put themselves in danger to protect the occupants of that Capitol… They’re the patriots, and some of them did not know whether they’re going to see their children that night.” huffpost.com/entry/capitol-…
Read 6 tweets
17 Dec
Happening now: Robert Scott Palmer, who attacked cops at the Capitol on Jan. 6 while wearing an American flag sweatshirt emblazoned with Donald Trump’s name, is about to be sentenced.

This will likely be the longest prison term in a Jan. 6 case to date.
Here’s our story from March on how the #SeditionHunters community identified Robert Scott Palmer, aka #FloridaFlagJacket.

Palmer was arrested 12 days after it ran.

In a letter to Judge Tanya Chutkan, Palmer said he now knows “Trump supporters were lied to” by the former president and his allies.

“They kept spitting out the false narrative about a stolen election and how it was ‘our duty’ to stand up to tyranny.”

Read 17 tweets
17 Dec
NEW: Jan. 6 defendant who bragged about “infamy” on Instagram gets one month behind bars after breaking down in front of a judge.

“I have so much shame from this,” she said.

“I will forever have to fear applying for jobs knowing the instant they Google my name they will not see the hardworking student… They will only see the girl who trespassed in the nation’s Capitol… thinking she was just so cool.” huffpost.com/entry/capitol-…
"That could’ve been you.”

Judge Christopher Cooper noted to Gracyn Courtright that Ashli Babbitt was shot at the same time that Courtright entered the Capitol building.

huffpost.com/entry/capitol-… Image
Read 4 tweets
17 Dec
“Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO”

Sentencing underway for Jan. 6 defendant Gracyn Courtright, who is present in the courtroom with her family. They took COVID tests two days ago, and took rapid tests today. (The family wasn’t vaccinated.)
Gracyn Courtright’s attorney told the court she didn’t vote in 2020. Defense team wants 30 days incarceration. DOJ wants six months. Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds has a one-year maximum. huffpost.com/entry/gracyn-c…
Prosecutor said it was “extremely likely” they would have gone for the felony had they discovered footage of Courtright on the floor of the Senate before her misdemeanor guilty plea.
Read 19 tweets
16 Dec
Jan. 6 defendant Andrew Hatley tells the court that going into the Capitol building wasn’t right, and suggests he regrets coming to D.C. at all. Said he got acclimated to the crowd as he got closer to the building. Sentencing forthcoming.
Judge Thomas Hogan notes Hatley went through a broken window, and knew it was a chaotic scene, but also notes he didn’t steal anything or fight police.

Hogan indicates he thinks Hatley’s remorse is sincere, notes Hatley’s lack of criminal history and his work ethic.
Judge Hogan says he thinks that being arrested and that the “social embarrassment” of being charged has a deterrent effect.
Read 13 tweets
15 Dec
BREAKING: Judge Tanya Chutkan sentences Brandon Miller to 20 days behind bars. Stephanie Miller gets 14 days incarceration.

DOJ had asked for home confinement.

“They climbed through a broken window,” Chutkan emphasizes. “I’m not sure there’s any remorse."
“There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government beyond sitting at home,” Judge Tanya Chutkan previously said. huffpost.com/entry/capitol-…
Judge Chutkan said Brandon Miller came to D.C. to "help a political faction,” not to "help the country.”
Read 6 tweets

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