(Reuters) – A South Carolina lawyer who was charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Friday in Washington, D.C., federal court to 21 days in jail, 90 days of home confinement and three years of probation.
David C. Johnston, 66, who has been suspended since May from practicing law in his home state, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after unlawfully entering the Capitol as hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the building.
U.S. prosecutors sought a 42-day jail term for Johnston, who has been fired from 40-attorney North Charleston, S.C.-based firm George Sink. Johnston worked on personal injury and worker’s compensation matters at the firm.
Johnston was among 900 people arrested so far in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol, where Congress had convened to certify Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden’s election win over Trump. Prosecutors said this month that about 470 individuals have been pleaded guilty to various federal charges in connection with Jan. 6.
Johnston’s lawyer Christopher Gramiccioni told Reuters that “David is extremely remorseful, and he regrets this isolated decision.” He added: “It will be the first and last mistake he makes like this in his otherwise unblemished life and career.”
Johnston did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
In a court filing earlier this month, prosecutors said Johnston “trashed the law” when he breached the Capitol.
“Unlike other professionals, attorneys are rigorously taught about the importance of adhering to the rule of law,” federal prosecutor Ashley Akers told Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell.
Gramiccioni told Howell in a johnston-sentencing-memo-2022.pdf” class=”text__text__1FZLe text__dark-grey__3Ml43 text__medium__1kbOh text__large__nEccO link__underline_default__2prE_”>filing that his client did not “touch or strike anyone else with any objects or weapons, did not throw any items like flags or smoke bombs.”
“Mr. Johnston has never been and is not affiliated with any extremist group or organization and has not engaged in any activities sponsored or sanctioned by these groups,” Gramiccioni wrote.
The case is United States v. David C. Johnston, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:22-cr-00182-BAH.
For U.S.: Ashley Akers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office
For defendant: Christopher Gramiccioni of Kingston Coventry
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(Note: This report was updated to include comment from David Johnston’s lawyer)
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