Jan. 6 Defendant Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison for Involvement in Capitol Riot
A defendant involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, who was captured on camera using a bullhorn to incite fellow pro-Trump rioters to steal law enforcement officers’ guns, has recently been revealed to have taken a secret plea deal. The defendant, Samuel Lazar, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison earlier this year, according to a filing unsealed on Monday by the Justice Department and Lazar’s legal team.
In addition to urging the theft of guns, Lazar was also seen using pepper spray against a line of officers during the riot. He was prominently featured on the FBI’s Capitol Violence website and attended an event in May 2021 with Rudy Giuliani and former Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. Mastriano has stated that he cannot vet everyone he takes photos with and believes that those who attacked law enforcement should be held accountable.
Lazar was arrested on July 27, 2021, the same day as the first public hearing of the Jan. 6 committee, where four police officers who protected the Capitol testified. In a sealed proceeding in March 2022, Lazar pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and aiding and abetting. He agreed to cooperate with the government and was subsequently sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison on March 17, 2023.
The media coalition, including NBC News, filed a motion to unseal the documents in April, and after an initial denial, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the request. The extent of Lazar’s cooperation with the government remains unclear.
A video captured Lazar on Jan. 6 shouting, “Let’s get their guns! Let’s get their guuuuuuunnnns!” through a bullhorn as rioters clashed with police near the U.S. Capitol. Another video showed Lazar discussing assaults on law enforcement, stating, “They maced us, those tyrannical pieces of s—, and we maced them right the f— back,” although there is no evidence that Lazar entered the Capitol building.
Initially, Federal Bureau of Prisons records indicated Lazar’s release in September 2023, but the Bureau later confirmed that he had already been released on September 13, 2023, after serving his 2.5-year sentence with credits for good behavior.
The joint filing between the Justice Department and Lazar’s defense team requested a 30-day period to redact the documents before their release, citing concerns that the public dissemination of the information Lazar supplied could interfere with ongoing investigations and potentially implicate individuals who have not been charged.