Washington — The pro-Trump rioter who marched through the halls of Congress while wielding a Confederate flag on Jan. 6, 2021, will face a federal judge to learn his sentence on Thursday, more than two years after photos of him became some of the most widely recognized images of the attack on the Capitol.
Kevin Seefried, 53, was convicted in June 2022 after Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found he illegally entered the Capitol, where he marched through the halls outside the Senate chamber.
The Delaware resident was convicted of multiple counts, including obstructing Congress’ work, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct and unlawful parading. His son, Hunter, was also found guilty on the serious obstruction charge, but acquitted on other counts including the destruction of government property. Hunter was sentenced to two years in prison last year.
Prosecutors have asked McFadden to hand down a prison sentence of 70 months, or nearly six years .
The Seefrieds traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6. Prosecutors said they were among the first protesters to then breach the Capitol and enter through a broken window, remaining inside for 25 minutes. Kevin Seefried was photographed a short time later with the Confederate flag. According to court documents, he said he brought the flag from his home in Delaware, where it is usually hung outside.
Evidence presented in Seefried’s bench trial showed he confronted U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman near the Senate.
Goodman, who testified during the trial last year, said he was inside the Capitol Rotunda during the attack when a group that included Seefried yelled, “Where the members at?” They threatened Goodman, taunting, “What are you going to do, shoot us?”
Goodman has since been recognized for leading the mob away from the Senate chambers and toward an area of the building where there was a larger law enforcement presence.
The officer described Seefried as angry — “the complete opposite of pleasant” — and said that he had used the Confederate flag to jab at him.
In court documents filed ahead of sentencing, prosecutors urged the court to impose the stiff prison sentence, arguing Seefried “stood resolute with the rioters, who demanded to know the location of the United States senators and representatives who gathered to certify the votes of the Electoral College.”
“During their confrontation, Seefried thrust the butt of his flagpole at Officer Goodman,” prosecutors wrote. “That flagpole was not only a weapon capable of causing serious injury; a Confederate Battle flag was affixed to it and it was brandished by a man standing at the front of a volatile, growing mob towards a solitary, Black police officer.”
Seefried’s public defenders wrote their client expressed “immediate and unwavering” remorse for his actions during the Capitol breach, explaining he brought the Confederate flag to protest and not to express any form of racism.
“He is ashamed, mindful that the community and even history, may view him as a racist. And he knows that he must be punished for his role in the events of that infamous day,” the defense team argued in court documents ahead of Thursday’s hearing.
Despite knowing he was entering the Capitol that day, Seefried’s attorneys wrote that the defendant — a construction worker — did not intend to obstruct Congress’ work, but to make his views known at the behest of the former president.
“Crowds around the Seefrieds were shouting that the President was going to meet them at the Capitol,” they argued, highlighting the fact that Trump had told his supporters he was going to march to the Capitol with them. “The fallout for heeding Mr. Trump’s call has been devastating: Mr. Seefried’s wife has left him, he is headed to prison and he will be destitute when he is released. Worst of all, his beloved son is in prison.”
“He cannot help but be afraid to ever trust a politician again,” his lawyers wrote.
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