Federal prosecutors are seeking to put a former Proud Boys member accused in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots behind bars after he said he could “do it again” during a CNN interview.
US Attorney Matthew Graves asks to revoke Joshua Pruitt’s pre-trial release brief Filed Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the Capitol attack. The document cited repeated violations of the terms of Pruitt’s release, a day after the accused rioters said they did not believe he had done anything “wrong”.
“If you ask me if I’ll do it again, I’d say yes,” Pruito said “But then I’d have questions in the back of my head, would I? … I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, but knowing the consequences will make me question it.”
“I was just a patriot there, you know, opposing what I think is an election of piracy,” he said. “Trying to send me to jail for a few years over this I think is a complete joke.”
Nicknamed “Jacked Beast” online, Pruitt has a prior criminal history, including 19 arrests and eight convictions. He was wearing a GPS monitor while on probation in several states and was already under curfew and other release conditions when he allegedly committed crimes related to capitol violations.
“Curfew violations here are the last straw,” Thursday’s brief states. “Pruitt violated both probation and pre-trial release terms as soon as he stepped into Capitol. Breaking Capitol while on GPS monitoring demonstrates a brazen disregard for the rule of law.”
“For the past year, Pruitt has continued to violate his curfew, just as he did on the night of January 6,” it continues. “The courts have given him many opportunities to improve, and the problem only seems to be getting worse.”
Pruitt was sentenced in November to 180 suspended days in prison and one year of probation for two violations. The Pretrial Services filed a report in court on Tuesday detailing seven more alleged violations and recommending that he be kept in custody.
In January 2021, Pruitt was charged with eight criminal counts related to his alleged involvement in the January 6 attack, including disorderly conduct at the Capitol building, acts of physical violence at the Capitol, and destruction of government property.
Videos taken during the riots show Pruitt charging into the Capitol with other Proud Boys, confronting police officers and violently throwing a sign inside the building. Prosecutors also say that Pruitt bragged about a swollen hand when he said he “dropped” an officer who came up to him “for no reason.”
In a request to rescind his release, prosecutors noted that Pruitt appears to be “repentant” about his actions at Capital, citing a CNN interview as evidence that he “cannot comply with the terms of the release”. and poses a danger.”
“Pruitt’s unrepentant remarks to CNN on January 5, 2022, further demonstrate that he does not take his case and the authority of the court seriously,” the brief said. “Pruitt does not understand that obstructing the peaceful transfer of power and committing violence while doing so is indeed a serious crime.”
“He couldn’t even admit that it was wrong to enter the Capitol because the windows were broken and throwing things,” it continues. “If he treats the charges against him as a ‘joke,’ it is no surprise that he would violate the pre-trial restrictions relating to those charges.”
If the court does not grant a request to put Pruitt behind bars, prosecutors asked him to impose “drastic conditions” including a ban on drinking alcohol or using social media.
Pruitt claimed he was no longer a member of the Proud Boys during his recent CNN interview. He joined the far-right group during the Washington, DC protests in November 2020. Pruitt claims he drank alcohol during the initiation, which was given by Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario and featured in a viral video.
newsweek reached out to Pruitt’s attorney for comment.