A Florida man who was part of the crowd that surged through Capitol doors and pushed past police officers has pleaded guilty to a felony.
Andrew William Griswold appeared before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Wednesday and admitted that he was a forceful part of the mob of Donald Trump supporters that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. The mob overwhelmed officers inside the building.
The crowd, spurred on by false claims that Joe Biden‘s 2020 presidential win was the result of voter fraud, temporarily blocked Congress from certifying the election results results.
According to the statement of offense, which outlines the facts supporting his conviction, Griswold was among the crowd outside doors to the Capitol Rotunda when a group of “unauthorized individuals inside the Capitol, some wielding flagpoles, shoved past the police inside the doors and pushed the East Rotunda Doors open from the outside.”
The crowd outside the doors celebrated and began to push its way inside the building. According to the statement of offense, people were fighting police in the doorway in an effort to pull them out of the way to “clear a path for rioters to enter.”
“A group of individuals outside the doors gathered together and, shouting ‘Heave! Ho!,’ pushed, surging toward the entrance to the Capitol building,” the statement of offense continued. “Griswold joined this group, pushing on a rioter in front of him and advancing toward the open doors.”
Once inside the Capitol, Griswold climbed on a bench and appeared to use his phone to take a picture or video of the scene. He was pictured walking up a staircase, hugging another individual and repeatedly raising his fists in the air. Once upstairs, he walked down a hallway and entered the Senate gallery.
Griswold then left the building, but he wasn’t finished: while standing on the steps leading to the East Rotunda, he gave an interview to the Post Millennial, a right-wing Canadian website that regularly struggles with accuracy.
Griswold is seen on video stating:
We took the building. They couldn’t stop us. And now they know we can do it again and we will fucking do it again. This is America and we love this country and they are not going to fucking take it again.
Pelosi, Schumer, all you mofos, back off, this is our country, we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep it. Don’t mess with us. Back off. This is our country. We showed ‘em today. We took it. They ran. And hid.
On Wednesday, Griswold pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and up to three years of probation. He had previously been charged with a handful of trespassing and disorderly conduct misdemeanors, as well as a federal obstruction charge that carried a potential 20-year prison sentence.
Under the plea agreement, Griswold will pay $2,000 in restitution toward the approximately $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol.
Cooper set Griswold’s sentencing for July 13.
Read the statement of offense, below.
[Images via FBI court filing.]
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