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Sad QAnon Schmuck Missed January 6 Capitol Attack, Managed To Do Federal Crimes Anyhow
He wanted to collect 'a ton of Traitors heads' for Trump.
A North Carolina man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for threatening the lives of Nancy Pelosi and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. (yes really) had driven From Colorado to Washington DC with a load of two guns and 2,500 rounds of ammunition, hoping to get in on the civil war he hoped the January 6 rally would spark. But he arrived too late for the revolution and missed out on the fun. Sucks to be a QAnon patriot rebel with a poor ability to plan things.
Instead, Meredith aimlessly drove around DC the day after the insurrection and texted members of his family about his desire to murder the Great Man's enemies, WUSA-TV reports :
In one exchange, when a family member told him Trump wanted him to go home, Meredith responded, "Bull****. He wants HEADS and I'm going to deliver."
In other messages sent the following day – while Pelosi and Bowser were making public remarks about the riot – Meredith texted, “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG c***.” Meredith then sent a similar text about Pelosi, saying he was, “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi C****’s speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
Isn't patriotism a beautiful thing? We mean Meredith's family's patriotism, of course: They called the FBI to report his bizarre behavior, and he was arrested January 7 in a hotel room in DC.
Meredith pleaded guilty in September to a single felony count of "transmitting a threat in interstate commerce," because he'd texted during the trip, and was sentenced Tuesday to 28 months in prison by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. His attorney, Paul Kiyonaga, had claimed that Meredith was simply a big talker who had no intention of actually harming anyone with the arsenal he'd brought to DC (photos via US Attorney for DC / Washington Post).
The stockpile included 1,000 rounds of armor-piercing ammo, because, we'll assume, cops' Kevlar vests can be such a bother, as well as high-capacity magazines; note in the photo above the two magazines taped together end-to-end, for easier reloading in "combat."
Meredith's attorney insisted that the gear was simply stuff his client had taken to Colorado for a nice vacation in December with his two sons and his ex-wife, and that the guns and ammo, plus some all-terrain vehicles, were merely for a nice wilderness vacation, and some target practice. Holidays are a festive time!
"I cannot, as the defense encouraged me to do, cheerily dismiss the defendant's own words and accept that he packed guns and ammunition for a holiday event with his sons in Colorado," Jackson said. Instead, Jackson said, Meredith repeatedly made it clear in the days and weeks leading up to January 6 what the weapons were for.
"Somebody tells him about multiple bombs found in D.C.," Judge Jackson said of a text he received on January 6. "He responds: 'Ready to remove some craniums.'"
The Washington Post reports that
Starting on Jan. 4, Meredith began driving toward Washington with his weapons and his ATVs, which he said in some texts he might need to break through to the U.S. Capitol. “We’re gonna surround DC and slowly constrict,” Meredith wrote.
Who's "We"? The guy was in QAnon, so clearly, where he went one, the rest of the cult would go all. Sadly, his truck broke down along the way, and he missed the main event, arriving in DC the night of January 6, after the Capitol had been cleared and the National Guard showed up.
At the sentencing, Meredith's father explained that his son was "a good boy" but that he'd joined "the wrong crowd… some of that QAnon stuff, he really fell in hook, line and sinker.” Jackson observed that may have been the case, but the excitable boy in her courtroom was in fact "a man in his 50s."
Meredith himself explained he'd simply gotten a little carried away, and feels quite bad about it all now. He even tried out the word his attorney had used, adding a clever rhetorical spin of his own:
“I know what I did was wrong,” Meredith said. “It was political hyperbole that was too hyper. … I’m very embarrassed about the whole situation. It’s not who I am and it’s not who I want to be remembered as.”
He also explained that he really is a very good person who cares about others, at least when he's not all amped up on a conspiracy theory and looking forward to taking the heads of traitors:
“I’m a protector of people,” he said. “I’m a defender of people. There’s not a stranded motorist on the road I don’t stop to help.”
Presumably that didn't apply when he was in DC, the center of treason, because while he was tooling around the city on January 7, the Post notes,
he got into a fight with a passenger in a car, which had stopped in front of him, and was charged with assault. When he returned to his hotel in Southwest Washington and continued to text threats, which his lawyer noted were not sent to any of the targets, his family called the FBI.
Meredith's 28-month sentence will include credit for the 11 months he's spent in the DC jail, and he will be required to get drug and mental health treatment while he's incarcerated.
Jackson made clear that no, the right to petition the government for redress of grievance does not extend to taking scalps, even if you later say you were just blowing off steam while prowling the capital city with a small arsenal that could definitely blow away real people.
“It is not patriotism,” the judge told Meredith, “it is not standing up for America and it is not justified to descend on the nation’s capital at the direction of a disappointed candidate and threaten members of the other party. Canceling out the votes of others at the point of a gun is the utter antithesis of what America stands for, it is the definition of tyranny and authoritarianism.” [...]
“The words in this case are the offense,” Jackson said. “These types of statements cannot be shrugged off. They cannot be normalized by adding ‘LOL’ at the end.”
Oh man, I'm definitely copy-pasting that one for future use in comment moderation.
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