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Dad who carried Confederate flag into Capitol on January 6 heads to trial today

A Delaware man and his son indicted in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot hope a Trump-appointed federal judge will let them go with a slap on the wrist, claiming they were swung inside by police.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden acquitted a New Mexico man in April on similar charges, a rare blot on the Justice Department’s record of getting convictions in Capitol riot cases.

Kevin Seefried, who carried a Confederate flag at the Capitol after entering the building with his son, Hunter, were “early, aggressive, and active participants” in the Capitol Breakout and one of the first rioters to enter the bullfights on Jan. 6. 2021, prosecutors have said.

They will face trial Monday before McFadden, who will hear witnesses without a jury for the Seefrieds trial, meaning the judge will decide their cases.

Kevin Seefried, left with flag, and his son, Hunter, right, in the Capitol on January 6.

Kevin Seefried, left with flag, and his son, Hunter, right, in the Capitol on January 6.

Kevin Seefried, seen here, carries a Confederate flag at the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021

Kevin Seefried, seen here, carries a Confederate flag at the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021

Kevin Seefried, second from left, and his son Hunter, center, claim they were waved into the Capitol Building on January 6 by a police officer who had left his post.

Kevin Seefried, second from left, and his son Hunter, center, claim they were waved into the Capitol Building on January 6 by a police officer who had left his post.

McFadden, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017, has criticized prosecutors’ handling of cases of rioting at the Capitol. He suggested that the Justice Department has been unfairly harsher on suspects in the Capitol riot compared to people arrested in protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

McFadden has also criticized prosecutors for demanding jail terms for some nonviolent defendants in the Capitol, but not for left-wing activists protesting Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, The Washington Post reported.

In April, McFadden acquitted New Mexico resident Matthew Martin of charges that he illegally entered the Capitol and engaged in disorderly conduct after entering the building.

Martin testified that a police officer waved him into the building. A district attorney dismissed that testimony as “nonsense,” but McFadden said it was reasonable for Martin to believe more police officers were allowing him to enter the Capitol through the Rotunda doors.

Hunter Seefried, seen here in the red box, takes glass out of the Capitol window before crawling through it

Hunter Seefried, seen here in the red box, takes glass out of the Capitol window before crawling through it

Kevin Seefried, circled, is expected to claim that he was swung into the building by Capitol Hill police

Kevin Seefried, circled, is expected to claim that he was swung into the building by Capitol Hill police

Hunter Seefried, circled here, seen climbing through the window to the Capitol on January 6th

Hunter Seefried, circled here, seen climbing through the window to the Capitol on January 6th

In March, McFadden acquitted an elected New Mexico official of disorderly conduct but convicted him of illegally trespassing on the Capitol treshold. The judge said there was ample evidence that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin knew he was in a restricted area and did not leave. However, McFadden concluded that the prosecution failed to prove that Griffin had engaged in disorderly conduct.

McFadden is the only judge to date to hold a trial in court for a Capitol riot.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will preside over a trial for Jesus Rivera, a Pensacola, Florida man, charged with four riot-related felonies. President Bill Clinton presented Kollar-Kotelly to court in 1997.

At least four other suspects in the Capitol riots are on the agenda for this year.

Juries unanimously convicted five defendants of the Capitol riots on all charges, a perfect record for prosecutors to date. More than 300 others have been charged with riot crimes, mostly crimes carrying up to one year in prison. About 100 others have trial dates in 2022 or 2023. More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack.

The Seefrieds traveled to Washington from their home in Laurel, Delaware, to hear Trump’s speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. After the rally, they stopped by their car before joining the crowd that stormed the Capitol, prosecutors say.

Father and son agitators Kevin Seefried, left, and Hunter Seefried, center, photographed in the Capitol on Jan. 6 with Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a Brooklyn judge

Father and son agitators Kevin Seefried, left, and Hunter Seefried, center, photographed in the Capitol on Jan. 6 with Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a Brooklyn judge

The Seefrieds climbed a wall near a stairwell and scaffolding in the northwest portion of the Capitol and were among the first rioters to approach the building near the Senate wing door, prosecutors said. After seeing other rioters use a police shield and wooden plank to break into a window, Hunter Seefried used a gloved fist to remove a shard of glass in one of the broken windows, prosecutors said.

“The defendants and dozens of other rioters entered the Capitol through that window,” the prosecutors wrote.

Capitol Hill police officer Eugene Goodman, who led rioters away from senators, was threatened by Kevin Seefried on Jan. 6, prosecutors say.

Capitol Hill police officer Eugene Goodman, who led rioters away from senators, was threatened by Kevin Seefried on Jan. 6, prosecutors say.

Security footage from the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 shows Capitol Hill Officer Eugene Goodman walking past Sen.  Mitt Romney, R-Utah, left running

Security footage from the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 shows Capitol Hill Officer Eugene Goodman walking past Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, left running

The Seefrieds joined other rioters in confronting Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman and searching for members of Congress and the location where they would count the electoral college votes for the 2020 presidential election, prosecutors said.

Goodman, who is expected to testify at Seefrieds’ trial, has been hailed a hero for leading a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber and up a flight of stairs to an area where other officers were waiting. Goodman also instructed Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to turn and move away from the crowd.

Kevin Seefried told the FBI that he threatened Goodman with violence, saying, “And then I threw my stick down. I said, “You can shoot me, man, but we’re coming,” the prosecutors said.

Kevin Seefried carried a Confederate battle flag from home and was photographed displaying it on a large flagpole as he walked through the Capitol.

“Indeed, the flag Kevin Seefried himself carried served to signal his intent: the Confederate Battle Flag, a symbol of violent opposition to the United States government,” prosecutors wrote.

The charges against both Kevin and Hunter Seefried include a misdemeanor of obstruction of official proceedings, the joint session of Congress confirming President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Hunter Seefried told the FBI he had gone to Washington because he was concerned about “fraud” related to the election, prosecutors said.

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