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UPDATE: Government files sentencing recommendations for Omaha-native Brandon Straka in connection to Jan. 6

BRANDON STRAKA.jpg
Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-15 14:24:13-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — CORRECTION & UPDATE: 6:30 PM

On Thursday, federal prosecutors filed their sentencing recommendations for Omaha-native Brandon Straka who pleaded guilty for his role in the Capitol riot on Jan 6, 2021. An earlier story online and on-air incorrectly said that Straka was sentenced on Thursday. His sentencing hearing in federal court is scheduled for Jan. 20.

Late last year, Straka reached a plea deal that dropped two additional charges, including impeding a peace officer during civil unrest, in exchange for cooperating with the investigation of others involved in the January 6th riots. He pleaded guilty to "engaging in disorderly and disruptive conduct in the Capitol Building or Grounds."

According to the government's sentencing memorandum, prosecutors recommend that Straka receive four months home detention, a probationary term of three years, no less than 60 hours of community service and $500 in restitution.

Bilal A. Essayli, Straka's attorney, told 3 News Now over the phone that his legal team will also file its recommendations with the court. He said that the defense team will argue that Straka was not involved in any violence on Jan. 6, 2021 and that he should be sentenced to time already served.

In the introduction to the memorandum, prosecutors described Straka as a "social media influencer who live-streamed his participation in the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol." The introduction goes out to outline the video and social media posts shared by Straka during the riot.

The government's memo continues:

"Even if he didn’t personally engage in violence or property destruction during the riot, Straka encouraged and celebrated the violence of that day. In the lead up to January 6, Straka posted a series of messages to his significant number of social media followers indicating that a presidential transition cannot be allowed, that a civil war had begun, and that 'we’re not going to be peaceful much longer.' In the video, Straka can be heard inciting the crowd by yelling 'go, go, go' as the crowd approached the U.S. Capitol and made entry into the U.S. Capitol.

Straka also captured video footage of rioters aggressively taking a riot shield away from a U.S. Capitol Police Officer who was standing near a doorway of the U.S. Capitol. Straka and others can be heard stating 'take it, take it.”' The rioters successfully seized the officer’s shield and celebrated doing so by chanting “USA.” After his departure, but while law enforcement was still trying to clear the area, Straka tweeted out, 'Patriots at the Capitol- HOLD. THE. LINE!!!!' Due to his considerable media influence, this message was liked and retweeted by thousands of other Twitter users."

Straka is a former hairdresser, according to government documents, who amassed a large social media following and founded the conservative #WalkAway campaign and foundation.

Read the entire memorandum on the government's case against Straka here:

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