The founder of America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLD), Simone Gold, MD, JD, was sentenced Thursday to serve 60 days in prison followed by 1 year of supervised release for her role in last year’s January 6 insurrection in which invaded and refused to leave the US Capitol building.
She must also pay a $9,500 fine and another $500 to the Capitol’s architect to compensate for the damage the rioters caused to the building.
When sentencing one count of trespassing, a misdemeanor, US District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper said he did not believe Gold was remorseful, as he testified that she was. He said he found it “unseemly” that she and her website, America’s Frontline Doctors, collected about $433,000 from her supporters on the grounds that the court charges against her were politically motivated.
“Sitting here today, I don’t think you’ve really accepted responsibility,” he told her. “Your organization has used its notoriety to raise money to gain support for you in relation to the sentencing and for its general operations by misrepresenting what this proceeding is about… telling your supporters that it is an impeachment of a citizen law-abiding.” doctor that is designed to threaten and intimidate any American who dares to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The judge also disputed Gold’s claim that she was just a peaceful bystander during the riots.
“It is obvious from the video we saw today that you were part of a mob of angry and aggressive people, I would say, intending to get past the police and into the East Rotunda through those gates,” he said.
“Regardless of how the door was opened, the police were obviously trying to keep people out.”
Cooper also expressed skepticism about Gold’s claim that she did not see an injured Capitol Police officer wedged into a doorway right in front of her.
“As a police officer, he was thrown to the ground right in front of you, it seems implausible to me that you didn’t see that,” he said. “And he used that as an opportunity to enter the building. In the chaos and broken glass, in the presence of several police officers, it’s obvious that he knew it was a very dangerous and potentially violent situation when he entered.” “
The federal prosecutor handling the case against Gold, April Ayers-Perez, said the situation was made even worse “by the fact that [Gold] he is a doctor. She doesn’t stop. She doesn’t help others in the mob to help this officer who is in trouble.”
Gold remained in the building despite being told to leave by at least six officers, even after giving two speeches, which “distracted them from doing more important things than dealing with you,” Cooper said.
The judge reiterated some of Gold’s arguments in her defense about the overly aggressive manner in which she was arrested at her California home and apparently placed on a no-fly list due to an allegation that she had been or would be charged with treason, and that he had lost his job and had to move to Naples, Florida due to pressure from California investigators.
“But what I haven’t heard is anything from the five people who died that day. Of the four people who committed suicide because of the trauma they suffered that day at the hands of the mafia. Or the members of Congress or the 20 25-year-olds or 25-year-olds who stood behind those doors when chaos raged around them and they didn’t know if they’d ever get to go home to their families.”
Cooper told Gold that she is “obviously very bright and professionally accomplished, and she clearly takes pride in that as she should.” But, she said, that actually counted against her “because you should have known what you were doing.” You are unlike many of the other defendants I see who were tricked or tricked into coming to DC that day,” she said. “I think he knew very well what he was doing.”
When Cooper asked Gold if there was anything she would like to say, she said she was “shocked that the government thinks I have no remorse. I did everything in my power, as I perceived it, to show that I was sorry to be in.” . The capitol.”
She noted that she became an emergency room doctor to help people. And as an imperfect woman who is Jewish, she said, she knows that “the only thing that matters is loving and being good to people.”
“I did not intend to get involved in a situation that is so destructive to our nation,” he said.
One concern that may have influenced the court’s decision to send Gold to prison was prosecutors’ allegation that when Gold moved to Florida and was required to provide her residential address, she gave the address of a UPS office. Her attorney said Ella Gold voluntarily provided her address when she was told it was incorrect.
In an unusual effort to provide more evidence against Gold, California Medical Board President Kristina Lawson, an attorney, submitted a four-page letter to the court saying Gold “is dangerous and must be stopped.”
Lawson recounted how she was the subject of a confrontation first at her home and then in the parking lot of her law firm by members of Gold’s group, AFLD, last December, which “terrified” her. Later, he wrote, he learned that the confrontation would be used in a video titled “Lawson’s Hunt,” which “dangerously and falsely implies that I have committed crimes against my fellow citizens” and “dangerously and falsely accuses me of crimes, corruption”. , tyranny and lying to the public”.
Lawson also alleges in the letter that she continues to receive threatening emails accusing her of corruption, alleging that board investigators are attacking doctors who prescribe the COVID-19 treatment hydroxychloroquine and threatening to revoke doctors’ licenses. who prescribe it.
Gold holds a California license to practice medicine from the board, but comments made during the sentencing hearing acknowledged that the board is investigating her.
Gold’s attorney, Kira Anne West, said the board is seeking to revoke Gold’s medical license for doing something unrelated to patient care and that a bill now circulating in the California legislature is an attempt to do just that. West said lawmakers specifically brought up Gold’s name during debates on that bill as the reason the medical board needs more power to act. That bill was amended to only give the medical board the power to act in cases where a doctor is shown to be providing false information about COVID in a patient care setting.