A historic and landmark ruling is expected in the case of Paul Hodgkins who pled guilty to a felony.
Hodgkins was originally facing five charges, but under a deal negotiated with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding.
“I have decided that I will accept this plea offer, and I will plead guilty to charge one,” Hodgkins told U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss.
According to the statement of offense, Hodgkins entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 among the mob of Trump supporters. Hodgkins, wearing a dark blue shirt with “Trump” in white letters and carrying a red Trump 2020 flag, made his way through the crowd and onto the floor of the Senate chamber, where he stood with other rioters.
He was not accused of engaging in any violence.
Under the plea deal, the Justice Department has agreed to dismiss the four other counts against Hodgkins — unlawful entry and two disorderly conduct counts as well as one count of parading or picketing in the Capitol.
According to a Department of Justice statement:
Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of an Official Proceeding for Breaching U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
WASHINGTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty today to crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
According to court documents, Paul Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida, entered the U.S. Capitol building at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 6. Around 3 p.m., Hodgkins entered the Senate chamber, walked among the desks, and then removed eye goggles. He took a “selfie-style” photograph with his cell phone and walked down the Senate well where, a few feet away, several individuals were shouting, praying and cheering using a bullhorn. Hodgkins walked toward the individuals and remained standing with them while they continued commanding the attention of others. At approximately 3:15 p.m., Hodgkins exited the Senate chamber and the U.S. Capitol Building.
Hodgkins pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, fine of $250,000 or twice the monetary gain or loss of the offense. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19 at 10 a.m. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Honorable Randolph D. Moss accepted Hodgkins’ guilty plea.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office investigated this case, with significant assistance provided by the FBI Tampa Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the DC Metropolitan Police Department.
“The single charge Hodgkins did plead guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, although he’s unlikely to face anything near that.
Moss said the estimated sentencing guideline range for Hodgkins, based on his history, would be 15 to 21 months in prison, although the final decision is up to the judge.
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A sentencing hearing has been tentatively set for July 19.
Hodgkins is just the second person to plead guilty of the more than 400 charged so far in the sprawling Capitol riot investigation. The first was a heavy metal musician who was also a founding member of the Oath Keepers.
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She is a Homeschool Mom in North Carolina and loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism. @Saorsa1776