A Texas man who was seen wearing a shirt with the logo of a right-wing extremist group and carrying a flag inside the Capitol on Jan. 6 has struck a plea deal with prosecutors.
Sean David Watson, 50, admitted that he entered the building at around 2:47 p.m., shortly after the initial breach by Donald Trump supporters angry about Joe Biden‘s win in the 2020 presidential election. He spent more than 30 minutes inside the building, chanting and waving a flag, and admitted to filming some of the events on his cell phone and later deleting those videos.
Watson pleaded guilty Thursday to parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 dollars.
According to the complaint, Watson showed coworkers cellphone videos placing him in the crowd that day.
“I fucked shit up,” Watson told his coworkers at the time, according to an FBI tipster quoted in the complaint.
When FBI investigators first interviewed Watson, he told them that he had gone to Washington, D.C., to “participate in political rallies” but he denied being at the Capitol. That story changed, however, after police seized his cell phone and found footage he took from inside the building—footage that Watson has since deleted.
FBI agents also found texts from Watson in which he appears to brag about his role in the Capitol riots.
“I am fine,” he allegedly texted on Jan. 7, 2021. “I was one of the people that helped storm the capitol [sic] building and smash out the windows. We made history today. Proudest day of my life!”
He also texted someone that day that he had gotten “some good videos and pics [and] will share them when I get back.”
Pictures of Watson inside the Capitol show him wearing a shirt that appears to bear the logo of the Three Percenters, an extremist movement named after the false belief that only three percent of the American population fought the British during the Revolutionary War.
Watson’s pride in participating in the Capitol attack was similarly apparent when the FBI searched his home in February 2021.
“Yes, I was one of the people who went into the Capitol Building,” he told local CBS affiliate KOSA. “We didn’t do anything other than just being there.”
“We just walked around,” he also said, telling KOSA that Capitol Police had attacked the crowd. “We were chanting. Some of us were singing the national anthem.”
At the time, Watson showed no remorse for his actions.
“It kinda had to happen,” he told KOSA. “And it wasn’t a coordinated event like I said. No, I don’t regret it. I’m actually proud of what I am doing. I feel like I am fighting for my country.”
Under the plea agreement, Watson has agreed to pay $500 in restitution toward the estimated $1.5 million in damage done to the Capitol that day, although U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, a Barack Obama appointee, told Watson that he may ultimately determine that Watson should pay a different amount.
Mehta set Watson’s sentencing hearing for August 26. The remaining charges against him—all misdemeanors—will be dropped at that time.
[Image via FBI court filing.]
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