** Guest writer Sue Ianni contributed to this article.
A DC district judge sentenced 72-year-old Vietnam War Veteran Howard Richardson to 46 months in federal prison for his conduct on January 6th —saying that his “presence and actions among other insurrectionists” was an “inexcusable attack on our democracy.”
After nine weeks of radio silence and unable to communicate with the grandpa of eight (great-grandpa of one), Ashli Babbitt’s mother Micki Witthoeft directly asked speaker Kevin McCarthy to conduct a wellness check on Richardson during her visit with the House Speaker last week.
Likely as a result, Richardson was able to make a phone call to his family on Monday, his first contact with them since January.
For a transgression most people receive a slap on the wrist for — and a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions — our government is treating Richardson like an enemy of the state.
But even worse to Biden’s DOJ than a conservative exercising his First Amendment rights, Howard Richardson —a business owner, a veteran, and a certified poll watcher —personally witnessed election fraud on election night 2020.
This is his story.
Looks Like Ballot Fraud: Election Night 2020
(November 3, 2020) KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — After watching voters and poll workers until the doors closed at 8PM, Richardson wrapped up his election night duties as a Certified Poll Watcher and got ready to join a large group at a popular sports bar to watch the results roll in.
Richardson explains, “By 10 PM, Trump was ahead by 700,000. It was over as far as we were concerned. At that same time, it was announced, ‘We have not yet heard from Philly.’ I know Philly. There’s always something nefarious going on there. No big deal.”
The threat of election fraud had loomed large in prior months, especially with the rampant use of mail-in ballots.
At 10:15 PM, the local news station repeated the message. The anxiety of the group increased.
Richardson and some of the poll workers decided to leave the bar and check the main ballot drop-off point at 1426 Washington Lane in Norristown, PA. All ballots were required to be dropped off there by 9:15 PM, and the official closing time was 9:30 PM.
They arrived at the building just after 11:30 PM. All the lights were on, and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. They took snapshots of all the license plates. This was not right at all.
The group approached two open, well-lit receiving docks. People were busy working. A female guard stopped them with her hand outstretched. When Richardson asked, “What’s going on here?” —she shrugged her shoulders.
Meanwhile, two small U-Haul trucks had lined up at the dock.
The first truck was loading boxes, which Richardson recognized as mail-in ballot boxes. The truck then sped off from the lot with its tires screeching. The group ran to the street to see better.
When they returned to where the second U-Haul had backed into position at the loading dock, it was just finishing up. The female guard was gone.
Richardson blocked the vehicle from driving off with his hand raised. The driver called out, “What’s the problem?” While video-recording the driver, Richardson identified himself as a certified poll watcher and asked what was happening. The driver asked to see his certificate.
As Richardson stepped away to retrieve it, the driver gunned it and sped off. Again, the group ran after it in an unsuccessful attempt to get the plate number.
Determined to get inside, the group returned to the building, only to be confronted with five large male guards. Richardson coyly asked, “Is this the building where the ballot boxes were dropped off?” Appearing nervous, one of the guards lied, “No, that’s not here anymore,” and gave directions to a place five minutes away.
Richardson was out of patience. “We have your cars and plates. One last time: What’s going on?”
“Okay, see you later,” Richardson said, and with that, the posse left.
Over the next two days, Howard Richardson called two GOP hotlines to report the incident and provide evidence. He also called the Southeast PA District Attorney, who was already cooperating with the Trump campaign on alleged felony election fraud. Only the District Attorney’s office returned his call. The associate explained that they were already overwhelmed with sufficient evidence of fraud and would likely not need more.
The “Save America” Protest: January 6, 2021
(January 6, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. —As a Certified Poll Watcher, Richardson had been invited to Washington DC with other GOP friends to attend celebratory events on January 6, 2021, following Congress’ certification of the 2020 election.
Arriving late and with a jammed cell signal, Richardson tried to meet the group amid the hundreds of thousands of people. He ended up walking with the flow of the crowd, and what he witnessed on January 6th is told in his own words, here:
“Walking down Pennsylvania Ave to where Constitution Blvd intersected, I observed two green buses – Military. Each bus unloaded 40-50 guys, all quite young. They were dressed relatively the same, in dark gray and black camouflage, but not uniforms.
“Within minutes, about 25 more men, who appeared to be in their early 20s, riding brand new ruggedized bicycles appeared. They were dressed in new Trump gear – MAGA hats, sweatshirts, and some carried Trump flags. It seemed odd as most Trump supporters are well above 30-35 years old. They whizzed by and headed toward the Capitol.
“I continued walking until I got to the Reflection Pool between the Quadrangle and the stretch of lawn that leads to the Capitol. There is a half-moon-shaped driveway in the middle of these 2 locations. A bicycle rack commonly used by police to cordon off areas was placed there to block off the lawn leading to the Capitol building. However, there were no police nor any signs of warning.
“I saw about 500-700 people on the grounds. I found the crowd size very discouraging since 500,000 or more were initially expected on the Hill for the day’s events. Then, a man informed me that Trump’s speech went into overtime, so I decided to wait. By 12:45 pm, I was ready to return to the hotel and join my friends. This was disappointing.
“A loud noise abruptly broke the monotony. One of the barricades had been knocked over, and some people started to walk by it onto the grass and toward the Capitol building. My first thought: “Not a good idea. I could get shot.” There was a stretch of lawn, about 300 yards long, that ended at the back of the Capitol. In the middle of that stretch were about 15 DC Metro cops. Yet, as more people entered the previously cordoned-off area, the cops disappeared.
“As I looked to my right, thousands and thousands of people were suddenly coming down the Quadrangle – carrying signs, singing songs, waving flags.
“I felt safer going along with the crowd since hundreds were walking on the grass, and the cops didn’t care. When I got about halfway along, I noticed three scaffolds up ahead. There were about ten guys on top of the middle one. One had a megaphone. It had crystal clear sound, which meant it was a very expensive, high-end model. He was saying, ‘Come on! Don’t stop now! There are not that many of them! We can take them!’ He repeated those lines over and over. Clearly, he was trying to instigate an attack on the police! Mostly, the crowd just ignored him or looked confused.
“Now I was starting to wonder just what the hell was going on. I still felt relatively safe in the crowd, so I continued. On the concrete area at the back of the Capitol, there are three tiers of steps. On the center tier, a chant was started. Again, about 25 guys shouted, ‘Whose house?’ The other group shouted back, ‘Our House!’ This repeated almost ten times. Then the first one shouted, ‘What do we want?’ The others, in unison, shouted, ‘We want the House!’ Then, they charged up the stairs.
“I ended up right next to the middle scaffold. At this spot, I could see the area well. Another barricade had about 35 riot control police in full gear. I stood pretty much in the same position for about 30 minutes. Mostly, it was calm. Then a water bottle was thrown – nothing major. The police fired some tear gas. Then, a major incident happened.
“As I was standing next to the scaffold, a large piece of metal was being carried up the steps by about 25 young people. Again, it was strange to see so many people in their twenties there. They were going to ram the barriers. So, the officers, who had been standing back at least 10 feet, ran toward the bike rack barriers and raised one of them to block this enormous piece of metal.
“After a couple of blocks, the metal sheet quickly slid back onto me as I was right there. So, I reached my arm out to protect myself. When I touched it, the police doused me and others with pepper spray. I never had that happen before. I was not blinded, but pepper spray hurts, and it makes all the fluid in your face come out. I ducked into the space at the bottom of the scaffold. Water and milk were thrown into my face. The milk helped.
“At this point, I’d had enough. Some guys I was talking to felt the same, and we decided it was time to leave the area. First, I had to retrieve my American flag. I had set it down when I was sprayed. I came out from under the scaffold and picked it up when more spraying began. I could feel it on the back of my windbreaker.
“Then, the person I was just talking to got hit in the head by a cop. I started swinging my flag. The pole hit the top of the bicycle barrier and broke in half.
“With that, we left. I never hit him, so I didn’t hurt him! I didn’t steal anything, nor did I break anything that day. I have spent my entire 72 years as a law-abiding citizen and 4 of those as a combat vet in Vietnam. I love my country, its freedoms, and the rule of law.”
Contrary to his judge’s spiteful comments at sentencing, January 6th was democracy in action.
Howard Richardson, like most of the Jan 6ers, was at the Capitol on January 6th to preserve and protect democracy —by imploring Congress to investigate the highly suspect elections in six critical states before certifying the ballots.
It was our right and our duty to present ourselves to Congress on US Capitol grounds, as so many Americans have before us, to peacefully petition the government for a redress of grievances.
That is precisely what Richardson—an eyewitness to election fraud in the eleventh hour— and thousands of others did on January 6th.
Richardson has been taken from his family and his business. His social security checks have been terminated. He needs our help to make it through this excessive and punitive four year prison sentence.
Please donate what you can to help Howard through this hardship here.
If you would like to hear Howard Richardson’s story in his own words, listen to his interview here: