Man who stole Pelosi lectern during Capitol riot said party is a joke

The infamous man at the riot on January 6, 2021 who was photographed making off with Speaker of the House ‘s lectern is claiming to have played a joke on the media before heading to prison. 

Adam Johnson, about to turn himself in for a 75-day prison sentence for his behavior at the Capitol, was to hold a ‘going to prison’ party at a Bradenton, Florida restaurant called Caddy’s. 

Stephen Ananicz, the manager of Caddy’s, said he put a kibosh on the event because it was attracting negative attention.  

‘Caddy’s Bradenton is a family-friendly waterfront restaurant that had no knowledge of a ‘Going to Prison’ event being planned at its location,’ Ananicz said in a statement. ‘This event was never discussed or planned with anyone associated with the Caddy’s brand.’ 

Ananicz added that the reports have led to staff being abused and in receipt of threatening emails. 

Stay-at-home dad Adam Johnson, 38, who stole Nancy Pelosi's podium during the Capitol riot, on Friday was sentenced to 75 days in prison, a $5,000 fine and 200 hours of community service (Pictured: The now-viral photograph of Johnson carrying Pelosi's lectern)

Stay-at-home dad Adam Johnson, 38, who stole Nancy Pelosi’s podium during the Capitol riot, on Friday was sentenced to 75 days in prison, a $5,000 fine and 200 hours of community service (Pictured: The now-viral photograph of Johnson carrying Pelosi’s lectern)

Prosecutors said Johnson was 'not a mere tourist' but rather 'part of a mob.' Above, Johnson in front of a Capitol sign

Prosecutors said Johnson was ‘not a mere tourist’ but rather ‘part of a mob.’ Above, Johnson in front of a Capitol sign

Caddy's Bradenton restaurant in Florida, where Johnson was allegedly holding a 'going to prison' party before it was canceled

Caddy’s Bradenton restaurant in Florida, where Johnson was allegedly holding a ‘going to prison’ party before it was canceled

The Facebook page allegedly for Adam Johnson, who will be going to prison for stealing Nancy Pelosi's lectern while breaking into the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

The Facebook page allegedly for Adam Johnson, BLORAJATI PROJECT who will be going to prison for stealing Nancy Pelosi’s lectern while breaking into the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Adam Johnson posts on Gab about his alleged party at Caddy's Bradenton

Adam Johnson posts on Gab about his alleged party at Caddy’s Bradenton

The event is still live on Facebook and has 41 people listed as attending. 

Johnson, 38, was caught holding Pelosi’s lectern during the riot and was arrested two days later. He pled guilty to knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds in November of 2020.

He’s one of over 770 people in nearly all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have been arrested in connection to the Capitol riot.

Johnson, on the conservative social media site Gab, said Friday that it was all just a joke.

‘So I threw a public party on April Fools day for my incarceration and just like I thought, the media swallowed the whole story,’ he wrote. ‘Thank God we have journalists covering who is having parties these days.’ 

‘I was hoping to keep this bit going a little longer,’ he added. ‘It’s both sad and hilarious that the news covered this and the internet warriors got triggered about me seeing my family and my loved ones before I leave. There is no party. Well at least not a public one.’

Johnson (pictured apologized for his actions, saying he felt 'ashamed,' and asked for leniency in light of his cooperation

Johnson (circled in red during the riot) apologized for his actions, saying he felt ‘ashamed,’ and asked for leniency in light of his cooperation 

Johnson is pictured entering the Senate Wing with other protesters

Johnson is shown in a Capitol hallway after someone discharged white smoke as rioters attempted to breach the House Chamber

Johnson entered the Senate Wing with other protesters (left) and was seen in a smoke-filled hallway (right) after the rioters attempted to breach the House Chamber

A stay-at-home father-of-five, Johnson was also assessed a $5,000 and 200 hours of community service, with a judge saying that a ‘message has to be sent.’  

Johnson, who lives in Tampa and is married to a doctor, apologized for his actions and asked for leniency before the judge announced his sentence, which is one of the harshest yet for a misdemeanor related to the riots. 

‘I am ashamed to have been a part of it,’ Johnson told the judge during Friday’s hearing. 

He also claimed that had he come across Speaker Pelosi on the day of the insurrection, he would have asked her for a photograph.

‘If I did find her, I would ask for a selfie with her, if anything,’ Johnson said. ‘I bear no ill will toward her or her office at all.’

Johnson was picked up by the authorities in Florida within days of the January 6 insurrection (pictured in his January 8, 2021, mugshot)

Johnson was picked up by the authorities in Florida within days of the January 6 insurrection (pictured in his January 8, 2021, mugshot) 

Johnson, who has five sons between the ages of 6 and 14, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. 

The rioter gleefully placed Pelosi’s $1,000 podium in the center of the Capitol Rotunda, posed for pictures and pretended to make a speech, prosecutors said.

He later bragged that he ‘broke the internet’ and was ‘finally famous.’

Johnson has insisted that he has been cooperative with the federal investigation and did nothing to conceal evidence. 

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Johnson to 90 days in prison.

‘He wasn’t a mere tourist,’ Assistant US Attorney Jessica Arco told the court. ‘He was part of a mob that, in his own words, was trying to overthrow the government.’

Arco played a video recording from the Capitol, showing Johnson trying to open a door of what he thought was Pelosi’s office. 

Johnson’s attorneys asked the judge to sentence him to one year of probation with credit for the weekend that he spent in jail after his arrest.

The defense lawyers said Johnson didn’t know that the podium belonged to Pelosi when he moved it from a cloak room.

‘Arguably, if he latched onto some other piece of government furniture for his photo opportunity jail time would not even be a consideration,’ they wrote in a court filing. 

Johnson and his wife have received death threats, his lawyers said.

‘His wife’s medical practice suffered financially and some of Adam’s oldest friends will no longer speak to him or his family,’ they wrote. 

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton said America is on a dangerous path when many citizens believe that they ‘have a right to do whatever in order to have the person who they want in power sitting in the White House.’

‘That’s what we see in banana republics,’ the judge said. ‘That’s what we see in countries like we’re experiencing now over in Ukraine. That’s where we’re headed if we don’t do something to stop it. And I don’t know what we do to stop it.’

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