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Tennessee man gets probation after claiming he was brainwashed into storming US Capitol

Bryan Ivey of Crossville, gets 36 months probation
Bryan Wayne Ivey
Posted at 1:17 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 19:27:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A federal judge has sentenced 29-year-old Bryan Ivey of Crossville to 36 months probation for storming the nation’s Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Ivey appeared before Judge Christopher Cooper via teleconference from Nashville.

He had already accepted a plea deal last summer to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. Prosecutors said he was the 14th person to breach the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, but was also one of the first 10 who pleaded guilty.

Bryan Ivey captured on surveillance tape recording while in the Capitol rotunda.

Prosecutors said there was a delicate balance there since Ivey did seek mental health treatment after he claimed he was brainwashed into thinking the 2020 election was rigged. They requested 14 days in jail that could be split up on the weekends as a condition of his probation.

Judge Cooper came up with the following compromise based on what others were sentenced with who committed similar crimes.

Ivey’s sentence:

  • 36 months probation
  • $500 restitution to the architect of the Capitol
  • Mandatory mental health treatment
  • 60 day home detention with GPS monitoring. He’s restricted to his home, except for work, school, church, medical, mental health or drug treatment, meeting with his attorney, or other pre-approved activities.
  • 12-month check-in with the judge.

Before sentencing, Ivey told NewsChannel 5 he didn’t realize the magnitude of what happened on the day of the insurrection. He said he only made the trip to D.C. to attend the Donald Trump rally, but couldn’t make it in time. He saw some people marching to the Capitol and followed. That’s when he walked up to the window and watched what prosecutors say was the first breach of the Capitol.

Prosecutors say he could have walked away, but Ivey chose to walk in and therefore emboldened others to follow. You can see images of Ivey waving other people into the Capitol once he made it into the rotunda.

Bryan Ivey captured on surveillance tape recording while in the Capitol rotunda.
Bryan Ivey encouraged other rioters to join him inside the Capitol rotunda after they forced their way in.

“I didn’t think about it. I didn’t realize people were working there at the time,” Ivey said.

Judge Cooper asked Ivey if it ever occurred to him that there could have been an armed guard on the other end with a gun.

“I didn’t realize how much danger I was putting myself in,” Ivey responded.

Ivey spent 35 minutes in the Capitol before leaving and says he sought mental health treatment two days later in Tennessee. At the time he claims he had no idea he was in any trouble, so he deleted the videos from his phone. He says he was instructed by his therapist to remove himself from all things that reminded him of what happened.

According to Ivey’s sentencing memo from February, Ivey claimed he thought a world government was on the way and had plans to de-populate the Earth. He said most of his beliefs were rooted in conspiracies widely publicized by “certain politicians and irresponsible media.”

“I just want to acknowledge that I am better. I still have a long way to go. I guarantee this court and society that I will never be involved in anything like this ever again,” Ivey said.

Ivey named those who died during or shortly after the insurrection. He apologized to their families and said he hopes they find peace. Ivey has a minimal criminal record which the judge took into consideration, but ultimately Judge Cooper claimed this was about doing what’s possible to make sure this never happens again.

Ivey acknowledged that he does recognize President Joe Biden as the duly elected president of the US. Judge Cooper claimed he had seen a lot of “crocodile tears” with Capitol rioters on trial lately, but felt Ivey was genuine in his remorse.

Of the 17 people from Tennessee who stormed the Capitol, only two others have been sentenced and were given probation for misdemeanor charges.

More than 725 people were arrested as part of the Capitol riots. Just more than 70 have been sentenced.