A mother and son who helped steal Nancy Pelosi's (D-Ca.) laptop on January 6th have been sentenced to home incarceration.
Maryann Mooney-Rondon, of upstate New York, and her son Rafael Rondon were reprimanded by U.S. District Judge Jia Cobb for their "juvenile" actions.
They both spent about half an hour inside the Capitol. Neither was accused of any violence.
At one point, they entered a conference room where they helped an unidentified man steal Pelosi's laptop. They also stole a pair of respiratory devices meant for lawmakers and then left the Capitol.
Mooney-Rondon was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting theft of government property following a bench trial in March. Her son pled guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding last December.
The judge sentenced Maryann Mooney-Rondon to 12 months of home incarceration and Rafael Rondon to 18 months of home incarceration. Both were sentenced to five years' probation.
Judge Cobb described the punishment as "jail but at home."
In addition, Maryann Rondon must pay $3,657.51 in restitution, a fine of $7,500, and perform 350 hours of community service, and her son was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and perform 350 hours of community service.
The Biden Justice Department wanted more than 51 months in prison - more than 4 years - for Rafael Rondon and 46 months for Maryann Moony-Rondon.
But the judge resisted these steep punishments, distinguishing between their "juvenile" conduct and more dramatic crimes like espionage or theft of government secrets.
The judge did not find their conduct reflected any "master plot," a reporter who was present said.
While acknowledging their crimes were not particularly serious, the judge insisted she was letting them off easy.
"I just think that they were acting very stupidly,” Cobb said. “No offense.”
Moony-Rondon and Rondon have both apologized, saying they suffered a lapse in judgment.
“I was the adult in the room, and I failed,” Mooney-Rondon said. “I have brought embarrassment to my family.”
“If we had to do it all over, we would have just stayed home and watched from the safety of our living room,” she continued.
More than 1,000 people have been charged in the Justice Department's probe. Some have been accused of assaulting police, but most of the defendants are not accused of any violence.
Eugene Vindman, the lesser-known identical brother of Trump impeachment witness Alexander Vindman, is running for Congress in Virginia.
Vindman announced that he is running for the open seat being vacated by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, (D) a former CIA officer who is leaving to challenge Republican governor Glenn Youngkin.
Eugene Vindman is adopting the popular theme of defending "democracy" from President Trump, who was impeached a second time over an alleged "insurrection" at the Capitol.
"I'm no longer serving in uniform but now I have a new mission. To defend democracy, fight Trump and MAGA extremists, and serve the people of Virginia. I'm running for VA7!" Vindman wrote.
The 48-year-old retired Army Colonel was a top lawyer and ethics official at the National Security Council before he was fired from the NSC, along with his brother, for undermining the president.
Along with his brother, Eugene Vindman helped report (that is, leak) President Trump's private phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's ties to Ukraine.
Trump was impeached over the phone call, and Alexander Vindman was a star witness during the made-for-TV trial led by Democrat Adam Schiff (Ca.).
While the Ukraine impeachment saga has largely been forgotten, the Vindman brothers are continuing to take advantage of their minor notoriety.
Eugene Vindman was promptly endorsed by Schiff as a champion of "democracy."
"We need more members of Congress committed to protecting our democracy," Schiff wrote.
Eugene Vindman also received an endorsement from actor Ben Stiller, who called him "extremely decent" and a good friend.
I don’t usually do this kind of posting but my friend is running for Congress. He’s incredibly qualified, experienced and extremely decent. We need people like him serving us and the country. https://t.co/lCzgbLLSET
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) November 16, 2023
Alexander Vindman got into hot water months ago over a report that he was profiting from the war in Ukraine with lucrative military contracts.
Both brothers, Ukrainian immigrants, are known for their criticism of Trump and equally vocal advocacy for Ukraine and "our democracy."
Eugene Vindman is likely to face competition from other Democrats in the primary, and the general election race in the purplish 7th district is sure to be competitive.