Mehta said that Watkins, who is trans, has a “fairly compelling life story.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Hughes said that the government does not dispute or minimize what Watkins went through personally, saying that she “has our sympathies, but she does not have an excuse.”
Watkins complimented Mehta, saying he’d proven to be “an impartial arbiter” and said she understood how the jury — which convicted her of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, but acquitted her on a charge of seditious conspiracy — came to its conclusion.
She said she was “watching Infowars” and Alex Jones and was “hearing that Dominion servers were being invaded by the Chinese” prior to the Jan. 6 attack. She said she still believes that the country needs to take a closer look at the 2020 election.
Mehta said he gave Watkins credit for her apology and for being willing to plead, although she never reached an agreement with the government.
Meta also sentenced Kenneth Harrelson, a low-level Oath Keeper from Florida, to 4 years in prison later Friday, saying he did not bear the “same degree of responsibility and culpability as others.”
Harrelson told the court before being sentenced that he didn’t come to Washington on Jan. 6 because of politics. “I never voted for a president in my life,” he said. “I don’t care about politics I didn’t care then. I don’t care now.”
He also apologized to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who testified at the group’s trial, choking up as he said, “I didn’t know” police “were being attacked or I would have tried to stop it. I could have done more, and I apologize.”
Additional members of the Oath Keepers will be sentenced next week.