An American who pleaded guilty to storming the Senate chamber during the insurrection on the Capitol on January 6, was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison in an unprecedented case that could influence how hundreds of other accused protesters are punished. of the same crime.
38-year-old Paul Hodgkins has become the first US Congress protester charged with a felony to be sentenced. This July, the supporter of Donald Trump pleaded guilty to obstructing the counting of electoral votes after breaking into the Senate chamber.
The current sentence is less than the one year and five months requested by the Justice Department. However, Hodgkins through his attorneys was seeking parole.RELATED
Federal District Judge Randolph Moss held that the defendant contributed to a serious offense against democracy, but deserved some leniency because he pleaded guilty “exceptionally early” in the process and was not involved in any of the acts of violence on the 6th. from January.
“He was making a claim on the floor of the United States Senate, not with the American flag, but with a flag declaring his allegiance to a single individual in the entire nation,” Moss stressed.
“When a mob is prepared to attack the Capitol to prevent elected officials of both parties from fulfilling their constitutional and legal duty, democracy is in trouble … the damage they caused that day goes beyond the delays that day. . It is a damage that will persist in this country for decades, “he added.
At least 550 protesters have been charged with rioting on Capitol Hill, 230 of them for obstructing the counting of electoral votes, the same crime that Hodgkins pleaded guilty to.
38-year-old Paul Hodgkins has become the first US Congress protester charged with a felony to be sentenced. Photo: USA today
What happened on January 6 in the US?
A real chaos was lived on Wednesday, January 6 within the United States Congress. The session aimed at certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory was emergency suspended after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
Pro-Trump protesters violently entered the Capitol building, confronting the security forces guarding the headquarters. Carrying flags, posters and even weapons, they broke into the facilities to prevent the session.
“I have been defending democracy my entire adult life, but I never, ever thought that it would be necessary to defend it from a violent attack on our own Capitol building. So I reject that anyone instigates chaos or violence so that I cannot fulfill my constitutional duties, “said Nancy Pelosi, Democrat and Speaker of the House of Representatives at that time.
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