In this image from the U.S. Capitol Police video, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Fla., Stands in the well on the floor of the U.S. Senate in the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
US Capitol Police via AP
WASHINGTON – A Florida man was sentenced to eight months in prison Monday, marking the first crime since the January 6th riot.
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, was arrested in February after the FBI received notice that he was wearing a large “Trump 2020” flag on Senate floor.
Hodgkins pleaded guilty to a single crime in June of obstructing an official trial. The crime carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. After his sentence, Hodgkins is placed on a two-year supervised release.
Hodgkins is the third person convicted of the chaos in the U.S. Capitol. In June, an Indiana woman was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to illegally demonstrating in the Capitol. Last week, a Florida man was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges.
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More than 500 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the January 6 invasion of the Capitol.
“Even though you were just one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” said Randolph Moss, a US District Court judge in Washington, DC, during the two-hour trial.
Moss described the events in the Capitol as “extraordinary” and an “attack on democracy”.
Hodgkins described his actions on Jan. 6 as the result of a “foolish decision” and told the court he was “embroiled in an emotional protest”.
“I can say without the slightest doubt that I really regret and regret my actions, not because of the consequences, but because of the damage that the incident caused that day and how this country I love was hurt,” said Hodgkins Monday.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in front of the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The uprising that broke out in Washington forced Congress to suspend the joint session that would officially announce Joe Biden’s election victory in November.
After securing the Capitol, Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump was confirmed by Congress.
Trump encouraged thousands of supporters to march to the Capitol during a rally outside the White House to protest the historically ceremonial goings on.
Trump returned to the White House after his speech. During the rioting that followed, he said on a tweeted video to supporters, “You must go home now,” but did not condemn the violence and continued to falsely claim to have won the election.
Twitter later removed that tweet and suspended the president’s account.
On Monday, Vanity Fair published an excerpt from the new book “I Alone Can Fix It” in which Trump says his wish is the same as the January 6 rioters – overturn Biden’s election.
“Personally, I wanted what they wanted,” said Trump of the rioters, according to the authors of the book, Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.