Panorama City man who helped plan ‘violent revolution’ gets 4 years for Jan. 6 role – Press Enterprise

A Panorama City man who urged others to join him in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and then joined in the breach of the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Tuesday to more than four years in federal prison.

Edward Badalian — a former North Hills resident — was previously convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and entering and remaining in a restricted building. During a hearing Tuesday morning in Washington D.C., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Badalian to 51 months behind bars and 36 months of supervised release.

In a chat message repeatedly cited by prosecutors, Badalian prior to the riot on Jan. 6 told his followers “We need to violently remove traitors and if they are in key positions rapidly replace them with able-bodied patriots.” During the breach of the Capitol, Badalian joined thousands of other Trump supporters in attempting to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The chat message was posted on a group chat on the Telegram app called “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang,” which prosecutors say Badalian and his co-defendant Daniel Rodriguez created to “advocate violence against certain groups and individuals” who “supported” the results of the 2020 presidential election. According to prosecutors, both men “wrote hundreds of messages discussing and planning for a violent revolution in which they personally planned to be at the forefront of a fight to overthrow government leaders they identified as traitors and tyrants.”

Shortly after the polls closed on Election Day 2020, Badalian posted to the group chat a photograph of someone holding an assault rifle along with the message “It’s not a game anymore.” He later added in a follow-up message “If they’re guilty of treason they should be executed” and “Biden definitely guilty of treason.”

Both Badalian and Rodriguez were among the Jan. 6 defendants who previously took part in pro-Trump and anti-coronavirus mask mandate rallies across Southern California, including in Huntington Beach and Beverly Hills.

In the lead-up to Jan. 6, the group that included Badalian and Rodriguez allegedly collected weapons and tactical gear to bring to Washington D.C. Then, on Jan. 6, Badalian entered the Capitol building through a window others had broken and rifled through papers left on lawmakers’ desks.

Prosecutors in their sentencing brief cited a photo Badalian posted online shortly after the verdict in his case, showing him giving the camera a thumbs up while showing off a new ankle monitor.

“Badalian has never taken responsibility or expressed regret for his conduct on January 6, 2021,” prosecutors wrote. “In the days following January 6, the defendant tried to assume the mantle of hero in the public narrative and privately expressed his glee about the invasion of the Capitol. He has not wavered since.”

Badalian’s attorney, Robert Helfend, argued in his own sentencing brief that Badalian traveled to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 to “show his support to then President Trump, after the former President made several claims attacking the integrity of what we now know was a fair presidential election.” The defense attorney wrote that “Trump’s falsehoods” had “created a frenzy of anger and uncertainty in Mr. Badalian.”

“Edward should have known better than to enter the Capitol building,” the defense attorney wrote. “He did not use violence upon any law enforcement personnel protecting the capitol or destroy any object belonging to the Government, nor did he steal any Government property. He did not suit up for combat nor did he carry a weapon.”

According to an NBC News report, Badalian repeatedly interrupted the judge during his sentencing, at one point yelling “Arresting traitors would protect the Capitol.” The judge reportedly told Badalian that he is a “Legend in your own mind” and “A hero in your own head,” NBC News reported. As he was being taken into custody following the sentencing, Badalian reportedly proclaimed “This is what you get for defending the Capitol building.”

Rodriguez — Badalian’s co-defendant — was previously sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison after admitting to using an electroshock weapon on then-Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone during the Jan. 6 riot.

The two men are among more than two-dozen Southern California residents who have been charged in connection to the insurrection, many of whom have since been convicted.

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