A lawyer for James Bonet says his disillusionment with the nutritional guidelines of the previous USDA food pyramid led him to believe in electoral conspiracies.
WASHINGTON – A New York man facing jail time for smoking marijuana inside a U.S. senator’s office during the Capitol riots says his path to believing the lies of former President Donald Trump’s election fraud began with the food pyramid.
James Bonet, 29, pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor charge of entering and staying in a restricted building. As part of the plea deal, the government agreed to drop a much more serious crime charge of obstructing the joint session of Congress that could have earned Bonet up to 20 years in prison.
Bonet was one of hundreds of members of the pro-Trump mob who entered the United States Capitol building on January 6. While inside, he posted several photos, including one with the caption: “Right at the doors, this is our house, we will take it.” back.”
In another post, Bonet uploaded a selfie of himself with a joint on his lips inside Merkley’s office, with the caption: “Smoking in the capital [sic] edifice.”
The Class “A” misdemeanor charge to which Bonet pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of up to 1 year in prison. On Wednesday, his attorney, Lisa Peebles, argued in a memorandum that a trial sentence would be more appropriate.
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Peebles said that Bonet, whom he described as a “curious and impressionable young man,” came to believe unsubstantiated claims by Trump and others, including attorneys L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, about a vast conspiracy by Democrats to overturn the election. 2020. Since then, both Wood and Powell have been sanctioned by a federal judge for filing lawsuits that further those claims. Powell, Wood and others are also the subject of a $ 1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
“James believed that Wood, Powell and Trump were highly educated, sophisticated intellectuals,” Peebles wrote. “I couldn’t imagine that they would spread false claims, particularly the president. James believed that Trump was trying to defend the constitution. “
After hearing Wood and Powell’s claims, Bonet began to question the integrity of the election results himself. But the bomb for him to mistrust the media and the government had already been prepared, Peebles said, for his disillusionment with federal dietary guidelines, specifically the food pyramid promoted for years by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“He linked his distrust of media advertising to the food pyramid after losing 150 pounds beginning in February 2021, when he eliminated carbs, dairy and sugar,” Peebles wrote. “He wondered why throughout his school years he was taught to embrace the food pyramid when doing so caused a huge gain in weight … This revelation prompted James to attend the rally on January 6, 2021. He wanted to search for the truth.” .
The USDA used the food pyramid between 1992-2005 to visualize the number of servings Americans should try to eat each day from various food groups, including grains, vegetables, and fruits. The pyramid was criticized for its apparent sympathy for the economic interests of the food industry and for bundling all fats and oils, despite evidence of the health benefits of unsaturated fats.
The food pyramid was updated to a newer version called “MyPyramid” in 2005, which contained a new ladder symbol to indicate the need for exercise, and was completely replaced in 2011 with the current USDA “MyPlate” nutrition guide. The MyPlate guide places a greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables and has been perceived as easier to understand than the Food Pyramid.
Bonet’s own disillusionment with the old USDA dietary guidelines “coincided with social media attacks on mainstream media” and a concerted effort by Trump allies to spread false information about voter fraud, Peebles said.
“James was wrong with this political propaganda thrown by the Trump administration and the far-right movement,” he wrote.
Since his arrest in January, Peebles said that Bonet returned to school, began practicing jujitsu and stopped smoking marijuana. Peebles said Bonet is trying to embrace “what he now thinks is a blessing.” As such, he said, a trial sentence would adequately deter him from future criminal activity.
Bonet will appear for sentencing before US District Judge Emmet Sullivan on February 20. The government has until January 10 to present its sentencing memorandum in your case.
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