February 25, 2024

JANUARY 3–The Donald Trump disciple recently convicted of voter fraud should be sentenced to 11 years in jail, according to a Florida prosecutor who cited the defendant’s prior criminal history as a factor in seeking the stiff punishment.

A jury last month found Robert Rivernider, 58, guilty of forging his dead father’s name on a 2020 vote-by-mail ballot. The Sumter County panel convicted Rivernider of three felonies: forgery, fraud in connection with casting a vote, and uttering a forged public record.

In advance of a January 9 sentencing hearing, a prosecutor has submitted a recommendation to the court arguing that the “lowest permissible sentence” Rivernider (seen at right) could face would be more than 127 months in state prison.

“The State is recommending an 11-year prison sentence or 132 months,” wrote Assistant State Attorney Joseph Church.

Church argued that Rivernider’s federal conviction on 18 felony counts–in a 2010 wire fraud and conspiracy case–drove up his “prior record points” to a level justifying a harsh new term of incarceration. Rivernider was sentenced to 12 years in the federal case, but was freed from custody in May 2020 when a judge granted him a “compassionate release” due to his medical history and the COVID-19 spread in prison.

In a subsequent online post, Rivernider contended that his release was “thanks to President Trump.”

Rivernider, a former field organizer for the Florida GOP, has been an officer of Villagers for Trump, the pro-MAGA group in The Villages retirement community. Wearing a Trump/MAGA shirt, Rivernider presided over candidate forums sponsored by Villagers for Trump. He also posed for photos with a number of MAGA luminaries, including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz (pictured below).

In a series of odd post-verdict pro se court filings, Rivernider has referred to himself as “a living man of God,” made numerous claims about stolen elections, and declared that his father, who died two weeks before the November 2020 presidential election, “was murdered by the United States government’s creation and spreading of a bio-weapon known as COVID-19.”

Rivernider’s motion for a new trial and a judgment of acquittal (despite the jury verdict) was denied by Judge David Eddy, who presided at the forgery trial. In a January 2 motion, Rivernider referred to his prospective state prison time as “slavery.”