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Sources: Rep. Rodney Davis to sit on Jan. 6 panel
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Sources: Rep. Rodney Davis to sit on Jan. 6 panel

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A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag is scheduled to become the first Jan. 6 rioter sentenced for a felony, in a hearing that will help set a benchmark for punishment in similar cases.Prosecutors want Paul Allard Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying in a recent filing that he, like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy by forcing lawmakers to temporarily abandon their certification of Joe Bidens election victory and to scramble for shelter from incoming mobs.Video footage shows Hodgkins, 38, wearing a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the flag flung over his shoulder and eye goggles around his neck inside the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-described shaman in a horned helmet and other rioters on the dais behind him.His sentencing Monday in Washington could set the bar for punishments of hundreds of other defendants as they decide whether to accept plea deals or go to trial. Hodgkins and others are accused of serious crimes but were not indicted, as other were, for roles in larger conspiracies.A lawyer for Hodgkins, who pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, asked U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss not to impose a prison sentence, saying the shame that will attach to Hodgkins for the rest of his life should be factored in as punishment.Whatever punishment this court may provide will pale in comparison to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will wear for the rest of his life, Patrick N. Leduc wrote in a recent filing, citing a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel in which a woman accused of adultery is forced to wear a letter A.The filing argues that Hodgkins' actions werent markedly different from those of Anna Morgan Lloyd other than Hodgkins stepping onto the Senate floor. The 49-year-old from Indiana was the first of roughly 500 arrested to be sentenced. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and last month was sentenced to three years of probation.Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property. And prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge, which carries a maximum 20-yeas prison sentence.Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

WASHINGTON — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has picked five Republicans to sit on the new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, signaling that Republicans will participate in the investigation that they have staunchly opposed.

McCarthy has selected Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who recently visited former President Donald Trump on trips to the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump's New Jersey golf club, to be the top Republican on the panel, according to a Republican familiar with the decision and an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi must approve the names before they are final, per committee rules.

McCarthy has also tapped Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls to serve on the panel, according to the two people, who shared the names on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

The five Republicans selected by McCarthy — all men — have strongly supported Trump, whose supporters laid siege to the Capitol building on Jan. 6 and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden's victory. Banks, Jordan and Nehls all voted to overturn Biden's win that day, even after the rioting. Davis and Armstrong voted to certify Biden's win.

McCarthy's picks come after all but two Republicans opposed the creation of the 13-person select committee in a House vote last month, with most in the GOP arguing that the majority-Democratic panel would conduct a partisan probe. House Democrats originally attempted to create an evenly split, independent commission to investigate the insurrection, but that effort fell short when it was blocked by Senate Republicans.

House Republicans have largely remained loyal to Trump despite the violent insurrection of his supporters that sent many of them running for their lives. Banks made clear in a statement Monday evening that he would take a combative approach to his leadership on the panel, sharply criticizing the Democrats who had set it up.

“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda," Banks said.

Jordan, one of Trump's staunchest defenders through his two impeachments and the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said after the House vote to form the committee that he believed the panel is “impeachment three” against the former president. Trump was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate both times.

It is unclear if Pelosi will approve the members. The aide to Pelosi said her office had received the names from McCarthy's office.

The Democratic chair of the select committee, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said Monday evening that he hadn't seen the names but referred the matter to Pelosi. “It's up to her,” he said.

Pelosi named eight members of the committee earlier this month — seven Democrats and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has strongly criticized Trump and has been the most outspoken member of her caucus against the insurrection. Cheney was demoted from GOP leadership in May over her comments.

As McCarthy has stayed quiet on Republican participation on the panel, Thompson has said that the committee will have a quorum to conduct business whether GOP members are present or not.

The new members will be put to the test at the panel's first hearing next week, with at least four rank-and-file police officers who battled rioters that day testifying about their experiences. Dozens of police officers were injured as the crowd pushed past them and broke into the Capitol building.

Seven people died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was shot by police as she tried to break into the House chamber and three other Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days that followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.


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