Judge Jackson, her voice rising with disgust as she documented his actions in detail, said she was sympathetic to Mr. Rodriguez’s claim that his extended absence has been harmful to his ailing mother, but she cast the stiff sentence as serving a higher purpose of safeguarding democracy from the continuing threats.
“The shadow of tyranny has not gone away,” said Judge Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Patriotism, she told Mr. Rodriguez, “is loyalty to your country, not to a single head of state.”
Few among the more than 1,000 people who have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack were as violent as Mr. Rodriguez, a single, fatherless man who, according to his lawyer, “idolized” Mr. Trump and his MAGA movement.
Over the course of nearly two hours at the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors say, Mr. Rodriguez sprayed a fire extinguisher at the police, shoved at officers with a wooden pole, took part in a “heave ho” effort to break police lines and eventually assaulted Officer Michael Fanone of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — who had rushed to the scene when he heard law enforcement calls for help — by hitting him twice in the neck with an electroshock device in a crowd outside the building.
Even then, prosecutors say, Mr. Rodriguez kept going. He entered the Capitol and sought to rile up other rioters, they said, and tried to smash a window with a pole-like object he found inside. He also ransacked offices, the government says, and instructed others in the mob to go through drawers to “look for intel.”