On January 6th, 2021, James Horning was brimming with defiant pride as he lit a joint while rioting at the capitol. He announced on social media, via Facebook, “To anyone on my list who has a problem with what happened in DC today.. I am damn proud I was there — If you have a problem with that, hit the inbox if you want.. or use the unfriend feature if you ain’t bout it. Those of you calling for an investigation, why don’t you try investigating deez nuts with ya chin.”
At his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Horning wasn’t quite as bodacious, but he still didn’t seem to see himself as doing anything wrong.
The insurrectionist claimed that he “didn’t even scuff the floor” and that the whole thing “wasn’t political” for him. Later, he would contradict himself by claiming he lit that joint to “protest” marijuana laws.
Judge Amy Berman-Jackson didn’t have the patience to entertain Horner’s explanations. She shut each one down in a clear and concise manner.
The judge remarked, “I don’t think Horning was inside the Capitol by accident or lured in there.”
She dismissed the claim that Horning wasn’t political. “The rally was all about politics –He was not entrapped. He went into the building on his own two feet.”
She reminded Horning that his very presence there “threatened the lives of members of Congress” and that it ultimately cost law enforcement lives as well.
In other rants during the hearing, after admitting that he is a Q-Anon follower, Horning repeated various Q-Anon pillars that didn’t really have anything to do with the crimes he was convicted of. Things like being against human trafficking and harming children — As if that was all the cultish group is about.
Horning’s attorneys offered more flimsy theories that didn’t have much more success with the judge.
When his lawyer argued that his social media was a “cesspool of nonsense” the judge retorted that “no one made him go into the pool.” Judge Berman-Jackson also told the convicted defendant that even today there are still people in prominent positions “using people like you.”
On top of all that, Horning then went after the FBI and claimed they were “terrorizing” him because one day they happened to show up around the time that his daughter’s school bus arrived.
In other words, to him, trying to overthrow democracy was no big thing and the “real terrorists” are the law enforcement officials that didn’t know his daughter’s bus schedule down to the minute.
There is nothing else in the record of the hearing that explains any other “terrorizing” they did. Apparently, in Horning’s pot fueled world, embarrassment is terrorism — but only when he is embarrassed.
After the judge knocked down all of Horning and his lawyer’s feeble defenses, Horning then tried to show some remorse, but it was simply too late at that point. Horning promised never to come back to DC and never participate in a political protest again, but those pleas were too little and much too late. Besides, Horning wasn’t being sent to jail for being in Washington DC or for participating in political protest. He is going to jail for his part in an attempted violent coup against our democracy.
His lawyer tried to convince the judge that his client not being able to find a job was “worse than prison” and the judge should just let him go with his unemployment being his punishment.
The judge disagreed and sentenced Horning to 30 days behind bars, to be followed by a year of supervised release. She also added a 500 dollar fine for restitution.
Horning tried to get the judge to do away with the supervised release and that he wasn’t comfortable with the “armed” FBI “terrorists” coming to his home. Of course, he used the old “I’m just asking questions” and that none of this made any sense to him after trying to call the FBI terrorists.
Perhaps his lawyers should inform him that it makes total sense. He committed multiple crimes, and pled guilty to 5 of them. They include — knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; pandering, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol buildings; and obstruction of justice/Congress.
After the hearing, hopefully they explained to him that the sentence he received was pretty darn lenient and that no one is terrorizing him by doing their job — even if he doesn’t appreciate the timing.