Source: Patty McMurray
She wasn’t carrying a weapon, she didn’t engage in any violence, and she doesn’t have a criminal record, but for the crime of carrying a “Members, Only” sign on January 6th inside the Capitol and for stepping onto the Senate floor to look for a place to charge her phone, 20-year-old University of Kentucky college student Gracyn Courtright is going to prison.
In a tweet, a fellow student who wanted to see the U of Kentucky student punished ratted her out on Twitter to the FBI, CIA, DHS, and the University of Kentucky.
@FBI @CIA @DHSgov @universityofky As a UK alum and a west virginia native, i’m so ashamed to see Gracyn Courtright illegally raiding the nation’s capitol. A UK student from Hurricane, WV. She documented it all on her social media. i hope this doesn’t go ignored. pic.twitter.com/O3p9EpHky4— Kataline (@KatalineAtrium) January 10, 2021
Photos emerged of the non-violent Courtright carrying the “Members Only” sign inside the Capitol.
Courtright posted, “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO” after she left the Capitol.
In another Instagram post, Gracyn shared a photo of herself standing in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6th with arms outstretched. She wrote: “can’t wait to tell my grandkids I was here!”
According to court documents, Courtright exchanged Instagram messages with someone who later sent screenshots of the conversation to the FBI. The person who messaged her wrote, “you were there???” and Courtright responded, “Yes, it wasn’t violent like the news said. I took pictures all in the building I never saw the violence; I guess I was lucky. The cops like, let’s us walk in.” Courtright said she walked into an area where desks for the Senate are and said, “it’s history idc … I thought it was cool.”
The person she was messaging with then called her a moron and said she and her “what’s cool about that lady dying because you and your fellow idiots are crybabies over an election??? she’s dead,” in an apparent reference to Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by Capitol Police while climbing through a broken window near the House floor. “It’s history??? You’re in the wrong side of it dumb***. You embarrassed everyone who knows you,” the message said.
Courtright responded, “I’m sad she died? my friends are my friends everyday?” The other person then wrote, “What you did was treason.” Courtright responded, “idk what treason is.” Courtright also said later in the conversation she wasn’t embarrassed by what she did.
On Twitter, using her account @gracyn_forever, Courtright tweeted along with a video, “the police officers walked around with us, nobody is being violent!!! (From what I saw.) In another tweet with a video, she wrote, “PEACEFULLY CHANTING!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody fighting or destroying anything some of my CNN and Fox News watchers need to think for themselves.”
Like many non-violent political prisoners who were let into the Capitol on January 6th by Capitol Police, Courtright had no idea she was committing a crime. When it came time to stand in front of the judge, Courtright broke down in court during the sentencing.
A frightening pattern has been emerging of January 6th political prisoners admitting to judges that they were wrong to support President Trump or to believe that election fraud took place in the November 2020 election. The testimonies of several of those arrested for their role (or non-role) in the “insurrection” sound more like victims of a Democrat re-education camp than those of free Americans who have the right to free thought or free speech.
Unlike other Capitol defendants who entered the floor of the Senate, Courtright did not face felony charges because law enforcement did not discover the footage of her in the chamber until after she pleaded guilty. Had she been charged with a felony offense, federal prosecutors say, her sentencing guidelines would have been 15 to 21 months in federal prison.
During her sentencing, Barack Obama appointed Federal Judge Christopher Cooper made several outrageous statements, including comparing her walking onto the Senate floor to charge her phone to the unarmed Air Force veteran and murder victim Ashli Babbit, as an example of how things could have turned out for the U of Kentucky student.
Huffington Post – Courtright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawfully and knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds in August. Images show her walking about the Capitol with a wooden “Members only” sign that she eventually turned over to a law enforcement officer after being ordered to do so.
The judge noted that Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed while climbing through a broken window and trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House chamber, was killed at the same time that Courtright was entering the building.
“She was on the House side trying to climb through a window; you went in on the Senate side,” Cooper said. “Did you know what was on the other side of some of those doors that some people were trying to break down? You see my point. That could’ve been you.”
Courtright could have also been BLM-Antifa radical John Sullivan, who was standing next to Ashli Babbit when she was shot. Instead of rotting away in the DC gulag like so many political prisoners from Jan. 6 or facing sentencing for the crime of being inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, Sullivan is walking around a free man today.
Cooper asked Courtright if she knew how many people died on Jan. 6 and how many officers died by suicide after the Capitol attack.
The answer to the woke judge’s question is precisely ONE, and there is no indication that his suicide had anything to do with January 6th.
“Was it cool to have been there?” he asked.
“No,” Courtright replied.
Cooper noted that many of the young congressional staffers who feared for their lives on Jan. 6 were around Courtright’s age.
“There were some folks just about your age, congressional staffers who were on the other side of those doors, thinking they had to call their family because this may be it,” Cooper said. “You probably saw enough to know that this wasn’t a simple, peaceful protest.”
There is no clear evidence that any members of Congress or their staff were in any danger.
Cooper also expressed confusion that Courtright didn’t even vote in 2020.
“In my view, if you or any citizen for that matter wants to participate in democracy … casting an informed vote is the price of admission, that’s the ticket to ride,” he said. “It’s not sports; it’s certainly not resorting to violence when your team doesn’t win the game.”
Like over one million protesters who attended the rally in DC on January 6, Courtright was there because they believed that the election was stolen, so Judge Cooper’s admonishment falls on deaf ears for many who believe that Democrats will take extraordinary measures to ensure their vote no longer counts.
“I thought it was cool,” she wrote in a private message to an Instagram user who confronted her about her conduct after she posted an image of herself inside the Capitol. “IDK what treason is.”
On Friday, Courtright broke down in tears at her sentencing hearing. At first, she was unable to get through her statement and was checked out by a nurse. When the hearing resumed, Courtright read her prepared statement while seated.
Cooper was able to get Courtright to state for the record that she was regretful and that going to DC to support Trump was the biggest mistake of her life.
“I have so much shame from this,” Courtright told Cooper. “I will never be the same girl again; this has changed me completely.”
Courtright said she hates having to introduce herself to new people because she has to say her name out loud. She called Jan. 6 the biggest mistake of her life and said she would do anything to go back and never go to D.C.
“I will forever have to fear applying for jobs knowing the instant they Google my name, they will not see the hardworking student who had been on the dean’s list. They will not see the girl that I know that I still am. They will only see the girl who trespassed in the nation’s Capitol and took pictures to prove she was there and posted pictures thinking she was just so cool,” Courtright said.
In a sentencing memo, Courtright’s DC attorney Thomas Abbenante pleaded with the judge to not destroy the life of the naive, non-violent trespasser.
Here’s a portion of the memo:
The facts concerning the defendant’s conduct stated in the government’s memorandum are not disputed. The actions of the defendant as outlined in the Statement of Offense have been fully admitted by her. The postings on social media are not disputed. They are what they are. They are troubling, but they do not reflect the true nature of Ms. Courtright. What they truly reflect is her lack of understanding of what occurred on that day. Her conduct on January 6th, while admittedly unlawful, was neither aggressive nor malicious. She was caught up in the hysteria of the day.
Once the reality of the situation set in and she was back home with her family in West Virginia, she was totally embarrassed by her actions and was full of remorse. Her parents were furious with her. When she became aware that a warrant was issued for her arrest, her father accompanied her, and she turned herself in.
Ms. Courtright did not set out from her small hometown of Hurricane, West Virginia, to subvert democracy. She came to see former President Trump speak at the rally, which was supposed to be his last. She thought it would be a historical event. She didn’t even vote in the election. The security officials at the event ushered her into a 3rd-row seat. She was excited to be that close to President Trump. After his speech, she marched with others to the Capitol. She never had any intention of participating in any violence or breaking any laws. However, when she got there, she marched inside the Capitol, and she is here before the court to answer for the crime she committed.
As a result of her conduct, she was suspended from the University of Kentucky. She has a hearing at the University scheduled for December 22, 2021, to determine whether she will be reinstated at some point and be allowed to complete the final semester and obtain her degree. She has been working part-time during the holiday season.
Her conviction and her involvement, in this case, will follow her for the rest of her life. Potential employers, potential friends will be able to find all the details online. It is a hefty price to pay for a first offense. She will be labeled as a participant in the January 6th riot for the rest of her life. The government’s request that Ms. Courtright is sentenced to the high end of the guideline range is greater than necessary punishment. The single case that the government cites where the defendant pled to the same charge as Ms. Courtright, US v. Kevin Cordon, 21-cr-277, resulted in a sentence of probation. Counsel recognizes that the government may be annoyed that they did not uncover the evidence that Ms. Courtright was on the floor of the Senate until after the plea was entered. Asking for the high end of the guidelines in a misdemeanor case for a first offender who did not engage in any violence, even in a January 6th case, should not be adopted by the court.
Federal prosecutors said Courtright later told investigators that she was looking for a place to charge her phone inside and that she didn’t realize when she first went onto the Senate floor that she was on the Senate floor.
Heavy reports about how students at the University of Kentucky aren’t waiting for our justice system to punish their classmates. The woke VSCOStudents and alumni are calling for the University of Kentucky to kick Gracyn Courtright out of school.
Branden Gobeli, a political science student at the University of Kentucky, launched a Change.org petition calling on the University of Kentucky to expel Courtright. The petition has more than 1,500 signatures.
“I cannot express in words how insulted and disgusted I felt when it was reported a fellow student of my university attended,” Gobeli wrote on Change.org. “The actions by Gracyn Courtright on that day damage the democratic values that the University of Kentucky and United States stands for, undermine the institutions that are the bedrock of our great democracy, and completely insult and undercut the work that I and thousands of other University of Kentucky students put in every day to increase civic engagement among students and defend our democratic values and institutions.”
Gobeli added, “Such actions have no place at the University of Kentucky.”
The school said in a statement on Twitter, “Per our policy, we don’t discuss individual student disciplinary matters. In general, the Code of Student Conduct applies both on and off-campus. If local, state, or federal laws are broken, the student code of conduct applies.”
The University of Kentucky begins its spring semester, which would be Courtright’s final semester at Univ. of KY, on January 25. It is not yet known if Courtright will still be enrolled when the semester begins.