WASHINGTON — A Donald Trump fan who was convicted on all counts after telling jurors that he thought he was “following presidential orders” when he stole a liquor bottle and a coat rack from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Friday.
Dustin Thompson, a college-educated Ohio man who testified that he believed Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, was convicted on six charges in April after he told jurors he was seeking Trump’s “respect” and “approval” on Jan. 6. His prior attorney argued that Trump “authorized” the attack on the Capitol, and took advantage of “vulnerable” people like his client.
“You didn’t love America that day,” Senior U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton told Thompson while sentencing him on Friday. Walton said he didn’t understand how “people can be gullible enough to accept a lie and act on that lie.”
Thompson was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison, and will get credit for the roughly seven months he’s served since he was convicted, meaning he’s still got more than two years to spend behind bars.
Thompson’s new lawyer said in a filing ahead of his sentencing that Thompson was working with “an individual that specializes in cult deprograming” and “was confronted with facts about the ‘stolen election’ conspiracy theory among others and how psychological manipulation is used to indoctrinate the followers of a conspiracy.”
Ryan J. Reilly is a justice reporter for NBC News.