Woman who said she wanted to shoot Nancy Pelosi pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges


A woman who said she wanted to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she left the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge Tuesday.

Dawn Bancroft, 59, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of illegally demonstrating, picketing or parading inside the Capitol, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

However, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan questioned why prosecutors had not pursued more severe charges of threatening a member of Congress after Bancroft was seen on video inside the Capitol saying she was looking for Pelosi to “shoot her in the friggin’ brain.”

“It’s very troubling to hear that the reason [she] was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was essentially to murder the speaker of the House,” said Sullivan.

Bancroft described the remark as a “stupid, juvenile comment,” adding that she “did not mean it” as Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Murphy noted she made the comment while leaving the building and there was no indication she intended to act on it.

Her attorney added that Bancroft did not post the video online but instead shared it with her children and a few others, including a friend who shared it with the FBI.

Sullivan said Bancroft was “fortunate” not to face more serious charges and asked her to think about how “good people who never got into trouble with the law on Jan. 6 morphed into terrorists.”

“I’m guilty,” Bancroft told Sullivan. “And I’m going to take the consequences.”

Diana Santo-Smith, 32, who traveled to Washington, D.C., with Bancroft and appeared alongside her in the incriminating video also pleaded guilty to the same charge on Tuesday.

Sullivan told Santos-Smith she would face intense questioning when the pair are sentenced on Jan. 25.

“We’re going to have a long talk … about what the heck you were thinking,” he said. “How did you get yourself into this mess?”

Daniel Uria | Contributed

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