Prosecutors are pushing for jail time for Rasha Abual-Ragheb, a Capitol rioter who bragged about her involvement in the January 6 insurrection and warned in its aftermath that “Civil War is coming.”
Abual-Ragheb pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a charge that could come with up to six months of jail time. Prosecutors are only pushing for a 30-day incarceration, but consider jail time appropriate because of her “violent rhetoric” before, during and after the January 6 riot.
Abual-Ragheb, a believer that President Joe Biden didn’t properly win the election, encouraged people ahead of the Capitol riot to “rise up” and said it would be “1776 again” when people took to the streets. Having decided to attend the January 6 rally, Abual-Ragheb urged people to join her and to “bring your own guns” and said she was bringing pepper spray, a knife and a stun gun.
“It’s trump or Civil War,” Abual-Ragheb posted on social media on January 4, according to court documents. “1776 coming.”
The day after the Capitol riot, Abual-Ragheb posted a photo on Facebook of herself in the Capitol building along with the caption that she “made history.”
Abual-Ragheb isn’t the only defendant in the Capitol riot cases to have warned about a looming civil war ahead of the January 6 insurrection and she continued to warn about the division afterward. On January 9, court documents alleged that she posted on social media that she thought people were “more angry” than they were before the Capitol riot.
“Civil War is coming and I will be happy to be a part of it,” the message said, according to court documents.
Elita Amato, Abual-Ragheb’s attorney, told Newsweek that she will be opposing any jail time for her client. She called it unwarranted given the situation, noting that Abual-Ragheb was “not prepared for a civil war nor intended to be a part of one.”
Abual-Ragheb entered the Capitol through a doorway, according to court documents, and only remained in the building for about two minutes. After leaving the Capitol, she reportedly yelled, “F**k you,” and “we will hurt you” at law enforcement officers.
Prosecutors acknowledged that her lack of a criminal history and her being the sole custodian of two minor children lean in favor of a sentence that keeps her out of prison. However, they pushed for a sentence that would deter future behavior, calling deterrence possibly the most important factor for a judge to consider when issuing a sentence.
Given that Abual-Ragheb posted on social media on the night of January 6 that we “need to burn the country,” prosecutors argued specific deterrence was appropriate to consider in the case.