Defendant Linked to Conspiracy Theory Enters Guilty Plea on Jan. 6 Charges

An amateur St. Louis Cardinals mascot, who found himself at the center of a conspiracy theory linked to the January 6th riot, has admitted his guilt in relation to his involvement in the Capitol attack of 2021.

Rally Runner, previously identified as Daniel Donnelly Jr., has admitted guilt to a single count of civil disorder. This offense has the potential for a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

The court has set a date for his sentencing, which is July 30th.

In a statement released on Friday, Runner’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, expressed that his client was eager to take responsibility for his actions and start a new chapter in his life.

In a false accusation made on national television, Runner was accused of being an undercover government operative responsible for instigating the events on January 6. During an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s former Fox News show in 2021, a lawyer defending multiple defendants involved in the Capitol riot falsely claimed that Runner was “undoubtedly a law enforcement officer” and an “agent provocateur” who had masqueraded as a Trump supporter in order to tarnish the reputation of the former president’s followers.

Runner was taken into custody in St. Louis, Missouri, in August on five federal charges. These charges included obstructing, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to seek the dismissal of the remaining counts in the indictment during sentencing, as mentioned in the court documents.

Runner, a well-known St. Louis Cardinals fanatic, made headlines for his energetic jogs around the baseball stadium during home games to boost fan morale. However, during the Capitol riot, Runner took on a different role. He painted his face red, donned a red “Keep America Great” hat, and wore a red jacket as he joined a group of rioters attempting to enter the Capitol building through the Lower West Terrace doorway. Court documents reveal that Runner actively participated in the chaos by passing a ladder towards the tunnel’s opening and using a riot shield to push back officers who stood in their way. Despite a ten-minute struggle, the officers managed to resist Runner and the other rioters’ advance.

According to court documents, Runner stated in a 26-minute video posted on Facebook that he obtained a riot shield with the intention of being the one who made it the farthest during the events of January 6th. He clarified that his goal was not to incite violence but rather to challenge himself to reach the furthest point possible.

Over the past three years, around 500 individuals have been convicted and received varying prison sentences ranging from a few days to as long as 22 years in federal custody following the attack.

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