Man Wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ Shirt During Capitol Riot Pleads Guilty

  • A man photographed wearing an antisemitic sweatshirt during the Capitol riot has pleaded guilty.
  • Robert Packer on Wednesday pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor trespassing charge.
  • The charge carries a possible six-month prison sentence. 

A Virginia man photographed wearing an antisemitic sweatshirt during the January 6 Capitol attack is the latest rioter to to settle his case by pleading guilty to one misdemeanor charge.

Robert Packer, 57, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one trespassing charge stemming from his role in the insurrection. The count carries a possible six-month prison sentence, though other Capitol rioters who have pleaded guilty to the same charge have received little to no jail time. 

Packer initially faced two charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 760 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered several non-violent Capitol rioters a lesser charge in exchange for their guilty pleas. 

Images of Packer inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, while wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt featuring a skull and crossbones went viral in the aftermath of the attack. The garment appeared to reference the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1 million people — a majority of them Jews — were killed during World War II. The bottom of the sweatshirt read “Work brings freedom,” a translation of the German phrase that adorns the camp’s archway. 

During Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors said Packer traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, after which he entered the US Capitol and spent approximately 20 minutes inside, according to CNN. Packer was reportedly nearby when Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot.

According to charging documents, an anonymous tipster contacted law enforcement after the riot to tell agents they recognized Packer’s photograph and knew him to be a regular customer at a Virginia store. The witness did not know Packer by name, but told investigators that they recognized his “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt and provided a photo of him in the store weeks earlier. 

A photo of Robert Packer wearing his "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt inside a Virginia store in December 2020.

A photo of Robert Packer wearing his “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt inside a Virginia store in December 2020.

The Department of Justice

Packer was arrested in January 2021. When FBI agents later searched his home, they found swastika artwork, photos of Hitler, Nazi imagery, and a folder called “Whites Only Material,” CNN reported.

An attorney for Packer did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. He is set to be sentenced in April.

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