© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
By Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Wednesday said the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol caused $1.5 million in damages and indicated that individuals accused of participating in the riot will be asked to foot the bill.
The Justice Department disclosed the $1.5 million figure in a letter to a defense lawyer for Paul Allard Hodgkins, a Florida man who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of obstructing an official proceeding.
“Your client acknowledges that the riot that occurred on January 6, 2021, caused as of May 17, 2021, approximately $1,495,326.55 damage to the United States Capitol,” stated the letter, sent on May 27 and made public on Wednesday.
Hodgkins’ plea agreement calls for him to “pay restitution to the Department of Treasury in the amount of $2,000,” according to the letter, which was first reported by the Washington Post.
The Justice Department letter did not indicate how investigators arrived at the $1.5 million figure.
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
More than 440 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riots, in which throngs of Republican former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
Few guilty pleas have been entered so far since the Justice Department launched its sweeping investigation into the deadly attack on the Capitol, in a sign that prosecutors are driving a tough bargain.
The charge against Hodgkins can carry a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, though U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence in the range of 15 to 21 months.
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