A former Virginia police officer was convicted in April of six counts related to the Capitol riot.
Thomas Robertson wrote a letter to the judge about his state of mind before and on January 6.
Robertson noted his stress, excessive drinking, and a “rabbit hole” of election conspiracy theories.
A former police officer who was convicted of multiple counts related to his participation in the Capitol riot says he was stressed, drank too much and was down a ‘rabbit hole’ of conspiracy theories leading to the insurrection.
Thomas Robertson, 49, was a police officer in Rocky Mount, Va., but was fired shortly after his arrest in January 2021. In April, he was found guilty by a jury of six counts, including obstructing official process and entering and staying in a restricted building or area while carrying a dangerous weapon.
In a letter filed Thursday before his sentencing, Robertson said he took responsibility for what he had done but wanted to inform the judge of things that “may have contributed” to his state of mind before and the January 6, 2021.
Months before the attack, Robertson said he had become the primary caretaker for an older friend with brain cancer, in addition to being a police sergeant and a small farmer. The older friend was “a vocal and enthusiastic Trump supporter and in caring for him I was exposed to a lot of pro-Trump and anti-Biden media.”
Robertson said the stress he was experiencing caused him to drink more than he ever had before, adding that the ‘shameful’ messages he posted on social media up to January 6 were “a product of stress, alcohol abuse and immersion in deep rabbit holes”. ‘ of the election conspiracy theory.”
“I sat up at night drinking too much and reacting to articles and sites given to me by Facebook’s algorithms [sic]”, he wrote. “The result was shameful and not at all indicative of the person I am or have ever been.”
Robertson also said that while he does not dispute his actions that day, he did not go to DC with the intention of disrupting Congress and that he had no intention of using his “cane.” walking” as a weapon.
In a court filing accompanying the letter, Robertson’s attorney asked for a 15-month sentence.
“Mr. Robertson, like many Americans, believed that the President of the United States was telling him the election had been stolen. He had never been in politics before, but the President maintained that the election had been stolen , and given his state of mind at the time, he believed in it,” the filing reads.
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