group of men with circled faces including Paul Edwald Lovley circled in orange in front of U.S. Capitol building

Courtlistener/US District Court

Court documents reveal Nick Fuentes’ follower sentenced for Jan. 6 role provided evidence against fellow Groypers

The government downplayed his involvement with Nick Fuentes.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Last week, a man involved with white supremacist Nick Fuentes’ America First movement was sentenced for his role in the Capitol riot. The government’s sentencing recommendation suggests that he provided evidence against his co-defendants or possibly others, while only lightly addressing his involvement with Fuentes.

Paul Lovley was arrested last September on charges stemming from the Capitol riot. The 24-year-old generated headlines for working for the National Security Agency, which made his involvement with Fuentes’ racist group all the more alarming.

Lovley was charged with four other men who were also involved with Fuentes. Their arrests were billed as the first major case against Fuentes’ acolytes who were at the riot.

Fuentes is a far-right influencer whose followers include a large contingent of young, white men known as Groypers. In 2022, a congressional committee subpoenaed him for purportedly encouraging his followers to go to Washington, D.C. for the protest that would become the Capitol riot. Fuentes was also there that day but did not enter the building. Days after the riot, he encouraged his followers to destroy their phones. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The five men, including Lovley, are known online as the #SuitGuysFlock, a reference to the business suit one of them wore that day.

Almost as soon as news broke that they’d been charged, Fuentes disavowed them in a series of posts.

“Contrary to what has been reported, these five who were arrested in connection with J6 are not Groypers,” he wrote on Telegram last September. He followed it up with unsubstantiated allegations that one of the men had betrayed him and that he and others are Jewish. He did not mention Lovley by name.

There are multiple images and footage of a man identified as Lovley, who became known as the #BrownSweaterBrat, with Fuentes or in the crowd at his events over many months. His codefendants have also been photographed at events with Fuentes. The government’s sentencing memorandum says the five were involved with America First at the time of the riot.

Court records show that Lovley agreed to plead guilty to one of the charges against him in February. The plea agreement the government offered him states that the charge has a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

The government’s sentencing recommendation for Lovley also says that he provided it with evidence against his codefendants and others. It states:

“Prior to his arrest in this case, Lovley spoke to FBI agents about the events of January 6, 2021. He confirmed his and his group’s prior involvement with America First, his attendance at the January 6, 2021 rallies in Washington D.C., his trespass into the U.S. Capitol building with his group and other rioters, and their actions outside of the building in the media area.”

Prosecutors also noted that it took “his debriefs with the Government prior the arrest of all defendants in this matter” into account when it recommended he receive 30 days in jail and three years’ probation. The judge reduced the jail time to 14 days to be served on weekends.

Prosecutors commonly recommend reduced sentencing for defendants who provide evidence.

Lovley didn’t respond to an email sent to the Gmail account referenced in court documents from his case.

Documents in the case further indicate that Lovley led the government to his friends, if perhaps unintentionally. A search of his phone revealed that he bought pizza the night before the riot, documents say, and the other four reimbursed him via Venmo.

He spoke to federal agents before all five were charged.

In its sentencing recommendation, federal prosecutors downplayed Lovley’s involvement with Fuentes and the latter’s anti-government racism.

While it notes that Lovley was involved with America First, Fuentes is only mentioned in a single footnote that vaguely refers to his racism. “He sees America’s ‘white demographic core’ as central to its identity,” it says of Fuentes.

The government isn’t required to mention every detail about a defendant in its sentencing recommendation, but soft-stepping Lovley’s involvement with a movement investigated for its role in the Capitol riot raises questions.

Lovley’s letter to the judge similarly omits any reference to Fuentes, Groypers, or America First. He claims that he was in the Capitol to “peacefully” demonstrate and was not privy to any plan to interrupt Congress, vandalize the building, or assault police. (One of his codefendants, who has pled not guilty, is charged with assaulting a police officer with a metal barricade. Footage appears to show Lovley watching the alleged assault. That case is ongoing.)

Lovley was reportedly seen with Fuentes at least once months after the riot.

While he made no mention of Fuentes or his racist movement in his letter, Lovley did indirectly condemn other Capitol rioters.

“I make no claims that I’m some kind of ‘political prisoner’ or ‘martyr’ for some abstract cause that I don’t even care about; I have no desire to use my situation for monetary gain or to launch a political grifting operation, or to deflect blame onto other people,” he wrote.

All but one of his codefendants have also pled guilty. One received a similar sentence, while two others have not been sentenced.

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