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Edgar Maddison Welch, who opened fired in a Washington DC pizza restaurant because of an online conspiracy theory, has been sentenced to four years in jail.

The 28-year-old burst into Comet Ping Pong on December 4, 2016, armed with a rifle and pistol.

The gunman drove from North Carolina to pursue bogus claims that the restaurant was the nexus of a pedophile ring linked to Hillary Clinton’s inner circle.

No one was injured in what prosecutors described as an “armed invasion”.

Edgar Maddison Welch fired an assault rifle into a locked cabinet, believing that abused children were being kept there.

Image source Wikipedia

Online conspiracy theorists had circulated a rumor that hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager contained clues to a pedophile ring.

James Alefantis, who owns the restaurant, testified in court that Edgar Maddison Welch’s “physical terror” had “left lasting damage on the people I love”.

He added that he hopes that “one day in a more truthful time we will remember this day as an aberration” when “lies were seen as real and our social fabric had frayed”, the Washington Post reported.

Edgar Maddison Welch, who has two young daughters, pleaded guilty in March to assault and firearms charges.

In a letter to US District Judge Ketanji Jackson, Edgar Maddison Welch apologized for “endangering the safety” of the pizzeria customers, adding “it was never my intention to harm or frighten innocent lives, but I realize now just how foolish and reckless my decision was”.

Prosecutors had argued that a lengthy sentence was required to “deter other people from pursuing vigilante justice based only on their YouTube feed”.

The assistant US attorneys Demian Ahn and Sonali Patel wrote: “Beyond Pizzagate, the internet is full of wild conspiracy theories where people urge members of the public… to take action.”

Comet Ping Pong was forced to hire security and also unplugged their phone due to abusive callers, the court heard.


Hillary Clinton has called for urgent action to stop the proliferation of “fake news”.

The former Democratic presidential candidate said it was an epidemic with “real world consequences” that threatened America’s democracy.

Hillary Clinton urged the private and public sector to combat the numerous false reports, propaganda and malicious stories that had been spread over the past year.Hillary-Clinton

She herself has been the target of fake news, including Pizzagate story.

Pizzagate wrongly stated during the election campaign that a pedophilia ring involving people at the highest levels of the Democratic Party was operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant.

On December 4, a man was arrested after firing a rifle inside the restaurant. The attacker later said he wanted to “self-investigate” the news reports. No-one was injured in the incident.

On December 8, Hillary Clinton told lawmakers on Capitol Hill: “It’s now clear that so-called <<fake news>> can have real world consequences.

“This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.

“It’s imperative that leaders from the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives.”

Hillary Clinton was speaking at a ceremony for outgoing Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – one month after losing the presidential elections to Donald Trump.


Michael Flynn Jr., one of Donald Trump’s aides, has lost his job after fanning so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory that climaxed at the weekend in gunfire at a pizzeria.

The 33-year-old left the president-elect’s transition team on December 6 following his tweets about the Pizzagate fake news story.

His father, Michael Flynn Sr., Donald Trump’s pick to be US national security adviser, has also shared fake news.

The Pizzagate hoax led to a gunman firing shots in a restaurant on December 4.

No one was injured in the incident at Comet Ping Pong in Washington DC.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

The suspect told police he had turned up to “self-investigate” online rumor-mongering that the pizzeria was the nexus of a pedophile ring involving Hillary Clinton and one of her aides, John Podesta.

The bizarre and unfounded theory had been spread online by right-wing blogs.

The claims were also pushed by Michale Flynn Jr., who tweeted after December 4 gunfire that Pizzagate would remain a story until “proven to be false”.

The New York Times reports that he was fired from the Trump transition team on December 6 but, according to CBS News, he resigned before he was sacked.

The Trump team confirmed the departure of Michael Flynn Jr. – who had reportedly been given a .gov email address – but did not confirm it was related to the tweets.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence acknowledged that Michael Flynn Jr. had been helping his father with scheduling and administrative items during the transition but said “that’s no longer the case”.

Asked repeatedly whether a security clearance was requested, Mike Pence refused to answer directly.

Michael Flynn Sr., 57, has also tweeted out unsubstantiated conspiracy theories accusing Hillary Clinton and her aides of child-s** trafficking.

Among the retired lieutenant general’s other tweets was an allegation that President Barack Obama was a “jihadi” who “laundered” money for terrorists.

Critics have said Michael Flynn Sr. is unfit to advise Donald Trump on the veracity of national security threats facing the US.

In December 4 armed confrontation, the suspect allegedly walked into Comet Ping Pong and pointed a rifle at an employee before firing shots into the ground.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, from North Carolina, has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

The Pizzagate theory originated on alternative message board 4chan, based on emails hacked from the Democratic Party and leaked by WikiLeaks.

The restaurant’s owner, James Alefantis, a Democratic Party donor, appears in the emails in relation to organizing a Democratic fundraiser.

Users of 4chan and Reddit had said words in the emails such as cheese, hot dog, and pizza were code for young children and s** acts.