In requesting an 18-month prison sentence during the hearing in Washington, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sedky likened the attack to “domestic terrorism.”
Leduc, Hodgkins’ lawyer, said the government’s description of the Jan. 6 events was hyperbole.
“I think it is gaslighting the country,” he said. What happened, he added, was “a protest that became a riot.”
Moss interrupted Leduc again, noting that some of the Trump supporters seemed to be out to track down lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“There were people who were storming through the halls of the Capitol saying, ‘Where’s Nancy?’” the judge told the attorney. “That is more than a simple riot.”
Sedky said that while Hodgkins didn’t engage in violence himself, he walked among many who did. And as he walked by smashed police barriers, he could see the smoke of tear gas and the chaos ahead of him.
“What does he do?” she asked the court. “He walks toward it. He doesn’t walk away.”
Under the June plea deal, Hodgkins agreed to plead guilty to the one count and pay $2,000 in restitution to the Treasury Department. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop less serious charges, including entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.