Fired Rocky Mount police offiders Jacob Fracker (left) and Thomas at Robertson in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Jan. 6, 2021 consequences come close to home in Floyd County

Trump's cult-like followers don't seem to care about his criminal actions, sedition or possible treason.

With a former Floyd County High School graduate and Rocky Mount police officer sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for his actions in the Jan 6, 2021, Capitol riot, the questionable actions that now also have former president Donald Trump under investigation of possible crimes under the Espionage Act, it now falls to Republicans — nationally and locally — to either support him in their normal cult-like way or let this latest drama play out instead of continuing to make fools of themselves.

Thomas “T.J.” Robertson shares the harshest sentence handed down so far in the trials so far of the hundreds of members of the mob that attacked the Capitol on that day in a vain attempt to shut down the government and overturn the legal election of Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in both the popular and Electoral college.

“It seems you really think of partisan politics as war. You continue to believe conspiracy theories,” U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper told Robertson at sentencing. “I sincerely believe you would answer a call to duty if something like this ever happened again,” 

In court, prosecutors presented evidence of comments and social media posts by Robertson before Jan 6 and even after his arrest and were out on bail.

“If they come here again, many will die,” Robertson said of law enforcement officers who arrested him. “I can kill every agent that they send for two weeks, maybe longer.”

While out on bail, Robertson continued to acquire weapons, including explosive and incendiary devices, and his bond was revoked and he remained in jail for 13 months until his trial. At his sentencing this week, the judge asked: “How can I have any confidence that he will not be a danger to the community if released?” 

Another now former Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, went to Washington with Robertson. He pled guilty, testified against Robertson in the trial, and is awaiting sentencing.

Robertson is a danger to the community and the nation. So are others who continue to blindly support a disgraced president who was caught, for the second time, with ultra-sensitive top-secret documents removed illegally when he left the White House in 2021 after losing his election.

Trump’s supporters are, sadly, a cult of lemming-like followers and members of a political party that I worked for in the 1980s, a time that I will regret for the rest of my life. They have disgraced our political system and our nation.

Time may tell if some of them are also traitors. Their leader is under investigation for felony violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, also a serious felony. He is the first former president to face such possible charges.

I wonder if those who continue to support Trump so blindly have ever paused to wonder if they might be abetting and working to return a traitor to office. Do they even care?

In the early 1970s, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned suddenly after he came under investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Maryland for criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion, and tax fraud. Turns out, Agnew took kickbacks from contractors during his time as Baltimore County Executive and Governor of Maryland.  He resigned as Richard Nixon’s Vice President during the Watergate crisis and pled guilty to tax evasion in a plea deal.

Later investigations revealed that Nixon, who resigned as president in the face of criminal charges that would lead to impeachment, knew of Agnew’s taking of bribes and kickbacks in Maryland but didn’t care. As Vice President, Agnew served as Nixon’s “pit bull” and attacked political opponents and the media often.

Nixon avoided criminal charges when president Gerald Ford pardoned him, which is considered one of the reasons he lost in the next presidential election, Nixon is often compared to Trump but the 45th president survived two impeachment attempts because of lockstep support by his party. Will they follow him into the toxic slime of treason?

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