A self-avowed “ex-MAGA Granny” who served jail time for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot has called out Donald Trump for “using” her story for political gain.
Pamela Hemphill of Idaho, 70, was the subject of a Truth Social post shared by the former president on Monday.
“AMERICAN JUSTICE: 69-year-old Grandma with Cancer given more prison time for walking inside US Capitol than Hunter Biden for sharing classified documents with foreign regimes and multi-million dollar bribery schemes,” the post read.
Trump shared it with the comment: “HORRIBLE.”
But Hemphill, a breast cancer survivor, didn’t want the former president’s sympathy, and called on him to “stop the spin.”
“Please,” she wrote in a tweet directed at Trump, “don’t be using me for anything.”
“I’m not a victim of Jan6, I pleaded guilty because I was guilty!”
She added that her case can’t be compared to Hunter Biden’s, because President Joe Biden’s son “didn’t try to attack the Capitol!”
Hemphill was sentenced in May 2022 to 60 days in jail, 36 months’ probation and $500 restitution. She pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
In Facebook posts compiled by the FBI, Hemphill wrote about her plans to join Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021, rally to protest the 2020 election results in Washington, writing: “It’s a WAR!”
Speaking to HuffPost over the phone, Hemphill said she finally saw the light in April, around the time of her 70th birthday, and climbed out of what she called Trump’s “cult.”
The shift happened after she participated in discussions about the Capitol riot on Twitter spaces, she said, exposing her to facts about the riot and the 2020 election.
She had begun to develop doubts about Trump’s election claims while serving her sentence at a federal prison in Dublin, California, from July and August last year.
“I was back and forth. Struggling with it, because it’s a struggle trying to get away from gaslighting, Trump’s narcissism and all the tactics they use,” she said.
Trump and his allies routinely claim Jan. 6 defendants are politically persecuted. In Hemphill’s eyes, that’s just not true.
“Oh, absolutely,” she said, when asked if she felt she’d been treated fairly in her case. “They tell you that the FBI comes and knocks down your door. I don’t know if that’s true. They came in, just doing their job.”
“They’re not treating January sixers any differently than any other defendants,” she said.
Hemphill said she was upset when she saw Trump’s Truth Social post about her on Monday.
“Don’t make us out to be the victims,” she said. “Nobody forced them to go inside the Capitol.”
Now that she’s grounded herself in facts, Hemphill hopes to help others see the truth.
“Don’t be afraid to speak out,” was her message to those people. “It was scary to leave the cult.”
A grandmother of two, Hemphill is active on Twitter, offering in her bio to provide “facts vs J6 gaslighting” and describing herself as an “ex-MAGA Granny.”
She’s one of more than 1,000 individuals arrested in connection with the Capitol breach. Nearly 350 of those cases involved charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Trump has increasingly offered support and praise to Jan. 6 defendants. He’s featured on a song called “Justice For All” alongside Washington jail inmates who call themselves the J6 Prison Choir.