Paul Allard Hodgkins was sentenced to 8 months in prison this week after pleading guilty to felony-level obstruction of an official proceeding for supposedly interrupting the congressional count of Electoral College votes that took place during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 of this year.
Hodgkins’ is the first felony conviction to arise out of the events that the mainstream media insist on inaccurately describing as an “insurrection.”
Contrast the treatment of the non-violent Hodgkins with what happened when Islamist-socialist Linda Sarsour and her band of screaming protesters disrupted another official proceeding in 2018, in this case the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“At least 227 demonstrators were arrested between the start of the nomination hearings on Tuesday and the end of testimony on Friday, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. Most of those charged this week with disorderly conduct, crowding or obstructing paid fines of $35 or $50,” NPR reported at the time.
The lesson here with this double standard on official proceeding-disrupting appears to be that conservatives who do it go to prison, but leftists who do it go home. Many of the people arrested in connection with January 6 are still rotting in jail awaiting trial.
Essentially, what Hodgkins did was trespass and demonstrate without permission on the Senate floor where he stood for 15 minutes waving a pro-Trump flag and taking selfies.
He did not wield a weapon, threaten anyone with injury, or intimidate anyone into abandoning the electoral vote count that was in progress when the breach began. He merely seized an opportunity to make a political statement in an abandoned Senate chamber after others had forced their way in.
Prosecutors openly acknowledged in their sentencing memorandum filed July 14, 2021, in United States of America v. Hodgkins, case 1:21-cr-00188 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, “that Hodgkins did not personally engage in or espouse violence or property destruction[.]”
Hodgkins deeply regretted what he did and confessed early in the process. “[H]e accepted responsibility early and in a fulsome manner, and he has taken significant steps toward his rehabilitation,” according to the memorandum.
According to USA Today, Hodgkins “said he had no plans to enter the Capitol when he traveled to Washington to attend Trump’s rally earlier in the day, but he got swept up in the march along Pennsylvania Avenue. Once inside the Capitol, he said, he apologized to police officers for the trouble and he offered medical care to an injured rioter.”
“I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am truly remorseful and regretful for my actions in Washington,” Hodgkins reportedly told the court. “This was a foolish decision on my part that I take full responsibility for.”
Sarsour, on the other hand, a co-founder of the Women’s March, reveled in the waves of adoring publicity she received from the mainstream media, acknowledging its role in advancing her cause, whatever that happened to be for the America-hating anti-Semite at that moment.
“Disrupting the hearings was a way for us to go directly into the homes of the American people to say, ‘We will not be silenced and you need to be as outraged as we are,’” she said.
Sarsour said “the women who have been arrested over the last few days” helped to generate “political will for Senate Democrats to show some moral courage.”
She took credit for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) decision to make public a memo on racial profiling drafted by Kavanaugh but labeled “Committee Confidential,” which meant it was not intended to be circulated outside senators on the committee.
“We believe the movement helped encourage that,” Sarsour said, according to NPR.
This kind of political messaging isn’t much different from what Hodgkins and most of the unauthorized visitors to the Capitol building hoped to achieve.
They wanted to draw attention to the Democrat-led presidential election theft that ultimately allowed the senile left-winger Joe Biden to be installed as placeholder president under the auspices of the U.S. military.
Sarsour’s scheme failed to prevent Kavanaugh from being confirmed to the Supreme Court. The actions by the uninvited Trump supporters on January 6 didn’t work, either – in fact they backfired rather spectacularly as frightened lawmakers dropped their objections to certifying the election results when Congress got back to business a few hours after it abruptly recessed.
Yet Hodgkins finds himself behind bars as Sarsour remains free. Also free are most of the Antifa-Black Lives Matters rioters and looters and arsonists from last year who used public outrage over the death in police custody of a drug-addled loser in Minneapolis to get away with causing an estimated $2 billion in damage across America.
It hardly seems fair.
Strangely, the Obama-appointed judge who sentenced him also ordered Hodgkins to pay $2,000 in restitution to the government for a portion of the damage to the Capitol building, even though prosecutors admitted he did not cause it.
Rioters “injured over a hundred law enforcement officers and terrified individuals on scene that day, leaving significant emotional scars. They destroyed over $1.4 million in property. This number understates the extent of the property damage, as it does not include the irreparable and unquantifiable damage to artwork, statues, and other artifacts that were stolen or damaged,” stated the sentencing memorandum.
It was as if a tax had been assessed against Hodgkins because others who happened to be present in the Capitol at the same time destroyed government property.
U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, condemned Hodgkins as a threat to the republic, attaching a great deal of meaning to the breach of the Capitol.
As if Hodgkins had been adhering to some kind of an Americanized Führerprinzip instead of merely being a justifiably pissed off loyal American citizen, Moss said that waving a Trump flag showed Hodgkins was loyal to one person, then-President Donald Trump, instead of to the country.
“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, as reported by USA Today. “That is chilling, for many reasons.”
Moss was appointed in 2014 by then-President Barack Obama after barely being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 54 to 45.
Moss struck down then-President Trump’s Proclamation 9822, which limited asylum claims to those entering the United States at an officially designated port of entry. The policy was aimed at curtailing the flow of Central American migrants coming to the United States, many in international caravans through Mexico.
So, given the judge’s apparent inclinations and the mass hysteria prevalent in official circles in the nation’s capital, people who actually seem to believe Donald Trump was plotting a coup, maybe 8 months in prison was the best deal Hodgkins could get.
At times, the government’s sentencing memorandum read like a CNN report.
“The defendant, Paul Hodgkins, participated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol—a violent attack that forced an interruption of the certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential election, injured more than one hundred law enforcement officers, and resulted in more than a million dollars’ worth of property damage,” the document stated.
Except the “peaceful transfer of power” was never in jeopardy at the hands of random Trump supporters running around the Capitol. The most the few who really did want to interfere with the process could hope for was a few hours’ delay in certifying the presidential winner. The government of the United States of America, the most powerful country on earth, with millions of employees scattered across the fruited plain, cannot be overthrown simply by shutting down Congress briefly.
And that $1-million-plus in property damage is insignificant in the scheme of things. That’s how much damage Antifa and Black Lives Matter did to property every few minutes after the death of the left’s newest patron saint, George Floyd.
“The government recognizes that Hodgkins did not personally destroy property or engage in any violence against law enforcement officers,” the sentencing memorandum continued.
“But he was surrounded by others who were doing both, and he entered the Capitol as others had paved the way with destruction and violence. Time and time again, rather than turn around and retreat, Hodgkins pressed forward until he walked all the way down to the well of the Senate chamber. Hodgkins came to D.C. preparing to encounter violence around him. He was a rioter, not a protester, and his conduct shows that he was determined to interfere with the vote count and the peaceful transition of power in the 2020 Presidential election. Hodgkins entered the Senate chamber, where he joined the chanting and ranting at the dais. This was precisely where, only 40 minutes earlier, the Vice President had been sitting at the desk on the elevated platform, surrounded by Senators who were considering a procedural issue related to the certification of the Electoral College vote. In the end, Hodgkins, like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy, physical safety, emotional well-being, and property on January 6, 2021.”
For this sensationalized account of January 6, prosecutors wanted to put this man who had no criminal record behind bars for 18 months.
They did not succeed.
Prosecutors also failed to put official proceeding disrupter Linda Sarsour behind bars.
They never even tried.