A Florida man who breached the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 is set to become the first Capitol rioter to be sentenced for a felony on Monday.
The hearing of Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, in Washington, DC, could set the bar for the punishments of hundreds of other defendants, should they choose to cop plea deals or go to trial.
Prosecutors want him to serve 18 months, arguing in a recent filing that Hodgkins “like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to temporarily halt their certification of President Biden’s election victory.
Hodgkins was seen on videos and photos of the siege holding a “Trump 2020” flag over his shoulder on the Senate floor. He was also wearing a “Trump 2020” T-shirt and goggles around his neck as he took selfies with other rioters on the dais behind him.
The Tampa man pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, after prosecutors agreed to drop the four misdemeanor counts against him.
His lawyer has asked US District Judge Randolph Moss not to send Hodgkins to prison, saying the shame attached to him for participating in the siege should be punishment enough.
“Whatever punishment this court may provide will pale in comparison to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will wear for the rest of his life,” Patrick N. Leduc wrote in a recent filing, referencing the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel “The Scarlet Letter.”
With Post wires