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Maryland Man Among the First to Breach U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 Convicted of a Felony and Several Misdemeanors

Nicholas Rodean

Nicholas Rodean waves a “Trump Is My President” flag while rioting inside the U.S. Capitol.

A Maryland man who counted himself among the first Donald Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was convicted on Tuesday of a felony and six misdemeanors.

Nicholas Rodean, a 28-year-old from Frederick, broke windowpanes next to the Senate door, leading to his felony charge of destruction of government property, prosecutors say.

Arrested on Jan. 13, 2021, Rodean wore his allegiance to the former president on his red cap branded “TRUMP” and a holding a flag “TRUMP IS MY PRESIDENT.” He was seen in court papers brandishing that banner on a staircase inside the building.

Rodean also had a badge from his workplace hanging from his neck, the FBI noted in its statement of facts.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, found Rodean guilty of destroying government property and six other charges during a bench trial.

The misdemeanor counts were entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds of Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.

McFadden had previously handed federal prosecutors their only defeat to date on the Jan. 6 docket, acquitting New Mexico man Matthew Martin of four misdemeanor charges against him. Martin, who reportedly called Jan. 6 a “magical day,” had “reasonably believed” that he was allowed him inside the building, the Trump appointee found.

In Rodean’s case, McFadden would grant no similar break.

Prosecutors say that Rodean climbed through the empty frame of a window glass that he had broken at around 2:13 p.m. Eastern Time, becoming the 15th rioter to illegally enter the building.

“Once inside the building, Rodean joined a small crowd of rioters in pursuing a Capitol Police officer up two flights of stairs to the second floor,” the Department of Justice wrote in a press release. “He proceeded to a long hallway, known as the Ohio Clock corridor, outside of the floor of the Senate Chamber, where he remained for more than 30 minutes. At one point, a Capitol Police officer noticed a small round object, appearing to be a small cannonball, in Rodean’s hand. He and another officer convinced Rodean to put away the object. Rodean then took out a hatchet, which the officers also convinced him to put away. After posing for a photo while waving his flag, Rodean was one of the last rioters to leave the Ohio Clock corridor. He exited the building at about 2:55 p.m.”

Judge McFadden scheduled Rodean’s sentencing for Oct. 21, 2022. The felony count carries a maximum 10-year sentence and the misdemeanors add up to a possible 4.5 years of additional time.

His conviction was announced less than a hour before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol is expected to hold its next public hearing, focusing on Trump’s ties to extremist groups like the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and the QAnon movement.

(Photo via DOJ)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."