The first person to be convicted for their role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
Paul Hodgkins, pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing a joint session of Congress. Hodgkins spent 15 minutes inside the building and was carrying a giant Trump flag, something U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss noted.
"The symbolism of that act was unmistakable," Moss said. "He was staking a claim on the floor of the U.S. Senate not with an American flag, but declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the nation. In that act, he captured the threat to democracy that we all witnessed that day."
Hodgkins apologized for his actions and said he got swept up in the moment. Judge Moss said that Hodgkins knew what he was doing when he joined the riot.
"Although Mr. Hodgkins was only one member of a larger mob, he actively and intentionally participated in an event that threatened not only the security of the Capitol but democracy itself," Moss said. "That is chilling for many reasons.
At least 535 people have been charged for their roles in the riots. While Hodgkins was the first person convicted of a felony, two people convicted of misdemeanors have already been sentenced.