Guilty: A man who jabbed at a Capitol police officer with a Confederate flag was convicted on January 6 charges
- A Capitol police officer recalled how
Kevin Seefriedjabbed at him with a Confederate flag.
- Seefried and his son
Hunter Seefriedelected to have a judge rather than a jury render the verdict.
A man who carried a Confederate flag inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was convicted Wednesday on several charges tied to his involvement in the pro-Trump mob that attempted to block the certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory.
Seefried, of Delaware, waived his right to a jury trial to instead have McFadden hear evidence and render a verdict. On the obstruction charge alone, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but he is likely to receive a much shorter period of incarceration.
The verdict marked the latest trial victory for the
Seefried stood trial alongside his son, Hunter Seefried, who joined him inside the Capitol on January 6. Federal prosecutors presented video footage showing Kevin and Hunter Seefried climbing through a broken window on the Senate side of the Capitol as they joined a group of rioters who were among the first to breach the building.
McFadden also found Hunter Seefried guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, and disorderly conduct. But the judge acquitted him on charges that he entered the Capitol with physical violence and destroyed property.
The judge set Kevin Seefried's sentencing for September 16, Hunter Seefried's for September 23.
Prosecutors alleged that Hunter Seefried broke a window. But McFadden said the window was already broken by two other rioters who used a police shield and piece of lumber to breach the Capitol.
"Here, I think the job already was finished by the time the defendant acted," McFadden said, adding that the shard of glass Hunter Seefried pushed out was "utterly useless" by the time he breached the Capitol.
With McFadden, federal prosecutors tried their case before the only judge who has dealt the Justice Department setbacks at trial. In a previous bench trial, McFadden acquitted a New Mexico man on January 6 charges. McFadden previously found a New Mexico county commissioner guilty of trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds but acquitted him of a separate disorderly conduct charge.
The Justice Department has otherwise won guilty verdicts on all counts with juries summoned from Washington, DC. Those proceedings have featured vivid video footage and testimony from police officers who defended the Capitol against the pro-Trump mob on January 6.
In his testimony Monday, Goodman said he remembered Kevin and Hunter Seefried from the group he encountered inside the Capitol and lured away from senators. Goodman recalled how Kevin Seefried used the base of his flagpole in a "jabbing motion" to create distance between the two of them. Of Hunter Seefried, Goodman said he remembered him having a "smirkish look on his face, like a 'we won' kinda look on his face."
Goodman described the elder Seefried as "very angry," "screaming" and the "complete opposite of pleasant." And he recounted how rioters demanded to know the location of lawmakers as they advanced inside the Capitol.
In closing arguments Tuesday, defense lawyers raised questions about the accuracy of Goodman's recollection of January 6. But McFadden on Wednesday credited Goodman's testimony, in which the police officer said he attached his memory of Kevin Seefried to the Confederate flag.
McFadden said it was "more likely he would stand out in Officer Goodman's memory" based on the Confederate flag Kevin Seefried "remarkably" carried inside the Capitol on January 6.
Defense lawyers also argued that Kevin and Hunter Seefried lacked a sophisticated understanding of the congressional proceeding they came to be accused of obstructing. But McFadden dismissed that argument, as well, noting that Kevin and Hunter were part of a group of rioters who were yelling, "Where are the counting the votes at?"
In the immediate aftermath of the Capitol attack, Goodman was hailed for leading the rioters away from lawmakers. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to award him the Congressional Gold Medal, the institution's highest civilian honor.
Goodman returned to the limelight during Trump's second impeachment trial, which featured video footage of him sprinting toward Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, to warn him of the angry mob approaching.
For Goodman, it was among the most harrowing moments of a day he described as "like something out of medieval times."
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