Crest Hill couple apologizes for role in Capitol breach, say they’ve sought ‘greater awareness’ of world
Prosecutors are expected to file their own memo recommending a sentence for the Schuberts, but they had not done so as of Thursday morning. The couple pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
Two Crest Hill residents have written letters to a federal judge apologizing for their role in the U.S. Capitol breach and discussing the reading they’ve done to pursue a “greater awareness of the world” and its shortcomings.
The letters written by John and Amy Schubert were filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ahead of the couple’s March 8 sentencing. Their lawyer, Heather Shaner, sought probation in a pair of memos filed with U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
The Schuberts each pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Prosecutors said the Schuberts entered the Capitol through a broken window shortly after Congress evacuated at 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, and visited the Rotunda, a nearby hallway and a congressional meeting room.
Prosecutors are expected to file their own memo recommending a sentence for the Schuberts, but they had not done so as of Thursday morning. Court records show Amy Schubert sent text messages telling someone on the day of the breach that “A woman was shot 20 feet in front of use [sic]. We’re ok. Got into a little confrontation w Antifa.” That was an apparent reference to the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt.
She also texted someone two days later and said, “I’m not sure if we should have pix on fb from DC event — I don’t want to help government to be able to match up exactly how we looked/what we were wearing that day.”
Shaner wrote in her memos that the Schuberts sought her out not only as a lawyer but a teacher. She said the couple started out by reading Thomas Paine and then continued on. She said they would then discuss what they read with Shaner in emails and phone calls.
John Schubert wrote in his letter that he also read Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” which he said “argued that it is man’s duty to fight for the eradication of wrongs.” He said he also read “The Hiding Place,” which he described as “the true story of a Christian family that hid Jews from the Nazis.”
John Schubert wrote that he considers himself a political independent who is concerned “with two parties who I believe have lost the ability to work with each other to solve the problems before us.” He also wrote about living through Vietnam and watching John F. Kennedy campaign in Joliet.
“I admit my emotions from witnessing these things over my lifetime overreached my common sense in January ,” John Schubert wrote. “I was despondent. I wanted to engage in citizen civil disobedience. I was wrong. I was wrong for entering the Capitol. In retrospect, seeing the shame it brought to my country, my entry into the Capitol shames me.”
Shaner wrote that Amy Schubert reached out to her after reading about the Holocaust and U.S. Reconstruction. The lawyer quoted an email from Amy Schubert that read, “I’m doing my reading and one word keeps repeating in my head —“humanity”. I need to see people’s humanity better than I have.”
Amy Schubert also wrote in her letter to the judge about the book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, which she wrote “details the vast unfairness in the legal system, mostly experienced by minorities and the poor.” She wrote that she also read “Slavery by Another Name” by Douglas A. Blackmon. And she wrote that she learned about “blockbusting,” which she described as “the practice of introducing black homeowners into previously all-white neighborhoods in order to spark ‘white flight.’”
“I want to inject dignity and kindness in my interactions with others, I want to hold myself to a higher standard, I want it to be a priority to make better decisions,” Amy Schubert wrote. “I never want to disgrace this country again and I’m sorry for my mistake.”