Prosecutors want Capitol riot defendants to help pay the $1.5 million bill for property damage from the insurrection
- Prosecutors are seeking restitution from Capitol riot defendants, the Washington Post reports.
- The January 6 insurrection caused an estimated $1.5 million in property damage to the Capitol.
- Prosecutors are asking for $2,000 for felony defendants and $500 for misdemeanor defendants.
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The mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 caused an estimated $1.5 million in property damage — and prosecutors want defendants who are pleading guilty to riot-related charges to help foot the bill, according to a new report in the Washington Post.
Since January 6, over 500 defendants have been hit with federal charges in connection with the riots, according to an Insider database. The most common charges include unlawfully entering and staying on government property, engaging in violence, disruptive and disorderly conduct, and obstruction of Congress.
As more and more defendants take plea bargains, prosecutors are starting to negotiate financial restitution for the damage done during the insurrection in the plea agreements — even for those not pleading guilty to committing violence against government property.
At least one defendant who recently pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, Paul Hodgkins, agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage done to the Capitol.
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Prosecutors are aiming to get defendants pleading guilty to felony charges to pay restitution of $2,000 each and defendants pleading guilty to misdemeanors in connection with the riots $500 each, defense attorneys involved in the dealings told the Post.
The damage committed during the insurrection included broken windows and doors, trashed congressional offices, litter, vandalism and graffiti on the walls, and theft of government property.
The Post reported that the $1.5 million estimate came from the Architect of the Capitol, but it’s unclear how exactly it was calculated and how all the damages break down.
As the Post noted, prosecutors appear to be taking the position that all those who plead guilty to insurrection-related offense must take some small amount of responsibility to the damage done to the Capitol. Negotiating restitution as part of plea bargains also ensures that the cost of repairing the damage doesn’t entirely fall on taxpayers.
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