A Florida man who stormed the capitol on January 6 is facing up to 20 years in prison after becoming “only the second defendant charged in relation to the deadly insurrection to plead guilty to obstructing Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results” in an effort to keep Donald Trump in power.
According to Politico, prosecutors told Judge Randolph Moss during a virtual plea hearing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that they “would drop the four misdemeanor charges against Paul Allard Hodgkins in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea on the obstruction charge, his only felony count, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.”
As noted by Politico, “defendants are typically sentenced in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines, and in most cases — especially for defendants with little or no criminal record — those standards call for sentences far shorter than the maximum. Judge Moss would ultimately be free to impose a shorter or longer sentence, and Hodgkins’ attorney said he would likely argue for less time behind bars for his client.
The guidelines also call for a fine of between $7,500 and $75,000 for the obstruction charge — in addition to the $2,000 in restitution Moss said had been calculated as Hodgkins’ share of the roughly $1.5 million worth of damage done to the Capitol during the riot.
Hodgkins, 38, is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on July 19.
Schaffer, a self-described “lifetime member” of the Oath Keepers, entered into a cooperation agreement with the government that could allow him to share potential knowledge about the dozen other members of the anti-government militia network charged with conspiring to stop Congress’ election certification.
The please deal could shed light on the government’s strategy for prosecuting the hundreds of other alleged perpetrators of the insurrection.