Paul Hodgkins just became the first January 6 defendant to enter into a straight up guilty plea. He pled guilty to one count of obstruction and faces a sentencing range of 15 to 21 months.
The plea provides a hint at how DOJ will deal with straight guilty pleas: Hodgkins got his trespass related crimes dismissed. But he will also face $2,000 restitution for the damage done to the Capitol, on top of whatever he is fined in conjunction with his obstruction charge. My rough count says 170 other January 6 defendants are facing that obstruction charge, many with other more serious crimes on top of it (though a few defendants are challenging it as applied).
The plea hearing also explained what I had noted was the one notable thing about him: that he put on latex gloves before he touched some papers on the Senate desks. In fact, he had them in a First Aid kit he always carries with him, and he put them on to offer Joshua Black — who had an open wound from a plastic bullet that kept bleeding all day — medical care. After Black declined his offer of help, Hodgkins took them back off.
Hodgkins explained that he didn’t know Black (or, it sounds like, anyone else he had stormed the Senate with).
Hodgkins’ statement of offense mentioned twice that he was wearing Trump garb at the time. Judge Randolph Moss repeated that when he was trying to clarify that the picture he was shown did depict Hodgkins.
Given some comments before the hearing started, it sounds like Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco listened in on the public line. This plea was a big deal, because it sets a pattern DOJ surely hopes others will follow.