The former Democratic congressional candidate who hurled a drink at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was sentenced to 15 days in prison for assault.
Amanda Kondrat’yev, 35, who ran against Gaetz in 2016, hit him with the drink in June as the lawmaker left a town hall in Pensacola.
She initially pleaded not guilty but changed her plea to guilty on Aug. 1.
She was sentenced to only 15 days in prison despite sentencing guidelines calling for eight months to a year in jail, reported the Pensacola News Journal.
Judge Hope Cannon said the assailant’s lack of a criminal history and the “limited duration” of the crime justified the sentencing.
My statement in response to Amanda Kondrat’yev being sentenced to 15 days in jail and one year of probation: pic.twitter.com/RG8BuGWK40
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 18, 2019
“The fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less,” Cannon added. Lawmakers should be able to serve without fear being assaulted, she said.
“Physical assault has no place in our political discourse,” Gaetz said in a statement. “I am grateful that law enforcement and our judicial system recognized this principle today.”
In a statement submitted in court, Gaetz said, “Constituents deserve to be safe at events hosted by our congressional office. My staff deserves to be safe. Their families and mine shouldn’t have to worry that while federal officials are doing their jobs, we are at risk of assault.”
According to the Daily Caller, Kondrat’yev is a member of the far-left, violent Antifa group.
Kondrat’yev didn’t speak to reporters after she heard her sentence. Her lawyer Eric Stevenson tried deflecting from what she did by bringing up when Gaetz was arrested in 2008 for driving under the influence—the charges were later dropped—and when Gaetz recently led a group of lawmakers to a secure room in Congress to interrupt a closed-door impeachment hearing.
“For him to talk about a violent crime, it’s not as violent as a potential DUI is to drivers on the road,” Stevenson said, reported the News Journal.
“It’s not as much of a threat to our national security as storming a security hearing with a cell phone in a room that doesn’t allow cell phones. It doesn’t jeopardize our rule of law as much as intimidating witnesses, and it’s not as severe as threatening to unleash violent supporters if you don’t get what you want.
While police officers didn’t see Kondrat’yev hurl the drink, multiple witnesses said they saw her throw it and one reportedly captured it on video.
According to a police report obtained by the News Journal, Kondrat’yev was arrested trying to flee. She was holding a sign that read “Gaetz—wipe off the blood from your hands, A+ rating—NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out in 2020.”
Referring to the change in the plea, Stevenson said in August: “She wanted to accept responsibility. She’s never been arrested before, she’s no threat to the public. This was a pretty (minimal) incident. Nobody was injured or in danger of being injured.”