Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sedky focused on what Hodgkins actually jeopardized: our democracy. She said Capitol staff members and law enforcement workers will “bear emotional scars for many years, if not forever” in what amounted to “an act of domestic terrorism.” According to HuffPost’s report, Sedky said that a hefty sentence would send a “loud and clear message” to those considering following in Hodgkins’ footsteps.
Hodgkins, 38, is the third person sentenced in the Capitol riot, with the others sentenced on misdemeanor charges, HuffPost reported. It’s nothing compared to the more than 500 people arrested in connection with the insurrection. HuffPost reported that hundreds of arrests are works in progress.
Hodgkins said during sentencing proceedings that he made a “foolish decision” and is “truly remorseful” about putting his “passion” before his “principles.” He said he recognizes President Joe Biden is “rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States … I came to D.C. with the intention of supporting a president I loved,” Hodgkins said. “The storming of the U.S. Capitol building is not something I had any idea would happen.”
Joyce Alene, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama nominated by former President Barack Obama, said in a tweet: “Jan 6 insurgent sentence to 8 months, despite gov’t’s 18 month recommendation. Probation recommended 15. Because one of the goals of sentencing is uniformity, this could well lead to lower sentences across the board.”
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Iraq War veteran, helped his peers put on gas masks on the House floor and covered journalists during the insurrection. “I think that he got off very light,” Gallego told MSNBC, describing the insurrection as “the closest I have been to what I would say is combat in 15 years.” Gallego said the mob is the weapon when dealing with a crowd like that. “But more importantly, the biggest fear and the biggest danger was to Democracy that day,” Gallego said. “And the fact that there were so many people who enabled it to get to that point, that’s the sadder situation.”
The riot, though unsuccessful in one regard, was intended to block lawmakers from certifying Biden’s election victory. Atlantic magazine contributor Zeynep Tufekci, who has lived through four coups in Turkey, told NPR in the days after the riot that the public needs to focus on how close rioters came to achieving their goal. “The president of the United States was attempting to steal the election by falsely asserting that he won it and trying to mobilize all the extralegal forces he could muster from his office to try to get them to overturn the election in his favor,” Tufekci said.
She said describing the rioters in flag capes and horns that people mistook the ridiculous for not being serious. After the mob disrupted the certification process, the majority of the GOP caucus, 138 of 211 Republican representatives, voted to overthrow the results of the Pennsylvania election, “even the Pennsylvania representative who was just elected with those votes,” Tufekci said. “These are not normal hiccups of a transition,” she added. “These are attempts to steal an election.”