A 38-year-old Florida resident named Paul Allard Hodgkins has become the second Trump supporter to plead guilty while facing federal criminal charges for participating in the deadly January riot at the Capitol. On Wednesday, Hodgkins pleaded guilty to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding, and prosecutors dropped other misdemeanor charges. While at the Capitol during the riot on January 6, Hodgkins toted a Trump flag onto the Senate floor from which Senators and then-Vice President Mike Pence had just recently evacuated, fleeing for their lives from the openly murderous mob.
The Washington Post reports that Hodgkins did not agree to become a cooperating witness for prosecutors, although it’s unclear that he’d even have much useful information to offer. Hodgkins has no apparent connections to far-right groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, both of which were involved in some capacity with the Capitol violence. In contrast, the first Capitol rioter who pleaded guilty, Jon Schaffer, has long been involved with the Oath Keepers and, besides pleading guilty, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Even with his cooperation, Schaffer currently faces the possibility of some four years in prison.
Currently, Hodgkins faces a prison sentence of 15 to 21 months. If convicted at trial of the charge to which he pleaded guilty, he could have faced a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Now, prosecutors have “agreed to give Hodgkins credit for accepting responsibility, pleading in a timely manner and paying compensation,” the Post explains. Hodgkins has agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution for the damage that he caused on the Capitol premises, although the total damage enacted by the mob is much greater. Prosecutor Mona Sedky estimated that total damage costs stand at a whopping $1.5 million. Hodgkins is also subject to a curfew and GPS monitoring requirements ahead of his sentencing.
Notably, around 200 of the some 450 Trump supporters who have been criminally charged over their participation in the Capitol riot face the count to which Hodgkins pleaded guilty — and which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. In other words, there are hundreds of serious federal criminal cases that will continue to unfold as Hodgkins’s proceedings imminently draw to a close.