Robert Packer, the 57-year-old Virginia man pictured wearing a black sweatshirt with the words “Camp Auschwitz” printed on the front, pleaded guilty on Tuesday for participating in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Charged with misdemeanor trespassing, Packer faces six months in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in April. Many non-violent rioters with the same charge faced significantly less punishment, but Packer’s case gained national attention due to his shocking choice of attire.

The offensive, Nazi sweatshirt he wore also featured a skull and crossbones with the words “Work brings freedom.” A translation of the German phrase “Arbeit macht frei,” the words were posted outside the gates of the concentration camp during World War II.

Massive crowds of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including Robert Packer
Massive crowds of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including Robert Packer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Over a million people died at Auschwitz, one of the deadliest concentration camps in operation during the Nazi regime. As prosecutors investigated Robert Packer, as well as many other Capitol rioters, white supremacy and antisemitism were common themes found among their personal possessions and political ideologies.

Searching Packer’s home, the FBI found artwork of swastikas, a folder of documents titled “Whites Only Material,” and Nazi imagery such as framed photos of Adolf Hitler.

Federal prosecutors stated that Robert Packer traveled to Washington D.C. from his home in Virginia to attend a pro-Trump rally, later joining the Capitol riot. He stepped into the building despite seeing the mob fight Capitol police. He pleaded guilty to witnessing rioters break into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Massive crowds of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including Robert Packer
Massive crowds of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including Robert Packer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

He admitted that he was only in the building for around 20 minutes but saw the incident in which protestor Ashli Babbitt was shot by Capitol police officer Lt. Michael Byrd. He left the Capitol building immediately after witnessing the shooting.

Babbitt has since become a martyr for the Capitol rioters and supporters of Donald Trump. Lt. Byrd later stated that he only fired as a “last resort,” and was fearful for his life as the potentially violent mob refused to back away from the House chamber doors.

“If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress,” Lt. Byrd said. “There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out.”

According to AP News, Robert Packer was arrested a week after the Capitol riot, but remained free until his sentencing hearing.

“Mr. Packer has agreed to talk with the FBI about the events of that day and allow the FBI to peruse any social media accounts he might have,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst told U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols at his hearing.

“At the time the defendant entered the building, he knew that he did not have permission to enter the building,” Furst continued.

Nearly 200 defendants have pleaded guilty since the U.S. Capitol riot right before Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021, as federal prosecutors and House committees seek to punish those responsible for inciting and partaking in the attack. According to CNN, more than 730 people have been charged.

Though facing a much lesser sentence, Robert Packer joined other high-profile members of the Capitol riot, including Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, and Trump supporter Robert Palmer.

In separate charges, Rhodes was accused of planning a militia attack at a nearby hotel, Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison for inciting violence, and Palmer was given 63 months–the longest sentence so far for any of the U.S. Capitol rioters.

The House committee in charge of investigating those responsible for organizing the riot has also subpoenaed high-ranking Trump supporters and coconspirators such as former aide Mark Meadows, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and InfoWars host Alex Jones.