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Jan. 6 rioter who threatened to ‘hang’ Nancy Pelosi gets more than 2 years in prison

Right: Pauline Bauer is wearing a "Make America Great Again" knit hat and is touching her head with her left hand. She is wearing a heavy coat. Right: Bauer is seen mid-sentence inside the Capitol building.

Pauline Bauer is seen inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021 (via FBI court filings).

A Pennsylvania pizzeria owner who threatened to hang then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and searched for her with a mob of people during the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol will spend more than two years in prison.

Pauline Bauer, a 55-year-old from Kane, Pennsylvania, was seen on police body camera footage shouting at officers: “We want Nancy Pelosi, that’s who we want.” She later screamed at officers: “Bring Nancy Pelosi out here now. We want to hang that f—ing b—-. Bring her out.”

Department of Justice trial attorney James D. Peterson said that Bauer’s threat wasn’t an empty one.

“Bauer’s threat to hang Speaker Pelosi was real, imminent, and placed the Speaker of the House in danger,” Peterson wrote in a 41-page sentencing memo.

At the time, Bauer had been standing “only feet from Speaker Pelosi’s office,” according to the memo.

Earlier this year, a federal jury convicted Bauer of all five charges against her, including the top felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

When a Metropolitan Police Department officer tried to clear her from an area of the Capitol he was protecting, Bauer bristled and screamed: “F— you, you son of a bitch, you back up.” Prosecutors say that she then pushed the officer, forcing other law enforcement to physically remove her from the Rotunda.

That officer, identified in court papers only as “T.C.” testified at Bauer’s trial, describing footage of the encounter.

“So if it wasn’t audible enough, this is Ms. Bauer stating, in her words, ‘F— you, you f—— [- – – -]’ as I instruct her to back up,” T.C. said. “So at this point, she’s no longer passive-aggressive; she’s become aggressive. And the fact that she’s pushing my efforts to — and using a civil disturbance technique, which is to push our batons forward as we state for the crowd to back up, she’s pushing back against my baton, telling me to back up.”

Prosecutors say that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol didn’t end Bauer’s appetite for radical action.

In a text message dated Jan. 8, 2021, Bauer wrote: “We need to stand firm and strong now more than ever.”

Before her trial, Bauer echoed sovereign citizen talking points, declaring in court: “I’m not a person,” quoting the Bible instead of case law. Her attorney now claims that her extremist ideas and rhetoric are in the past, calling his client penitent and respectful of the law.

“Although the case before this Court carries significant gravity, it is important to acknowledge that Ms. Bauer does not pose a threat to society in terms of her actions or beliefs,” wrote Pittsburgh-based attorney Komron Jon Maknoon. “She genuinely regrets her past actions, has developed a profound respect for the law, and has been effectively deterred from engaging in future criminal conduct.”

Richard Barnett and Pauline Bauer

Richard Barnett and Pauline Bauer (Photo via DOJ)

Bauer was just one of numerous rioters who sought to find or harm Pelosi, one of the politicians most vilified by former President Donald Trump. Arkansas man Richard “Bigo” Barnett was photographed with a foot kicked up on a desk inside Pelosi’s office — and a stun gun in his pants. Multiple rioters were charged in the theft of a laptop from that office. Another stole a part of Pelosi’s nameplate.

Both Barnett and Bauer got into heated confrontations with officers inside the Capitol and appeared on body camera footage next to each other. Barnett received a 4 1/2-year sentence on May 24.

Bauer was arrested a little more than two years ago, on May 19, 2021. After she completes her 27-month prison term, she will serve two years of supervised release. She also must pay a $2,000 fine.

Marisa Sarnoff contributed to this report.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."