WASHINGTON – An Idaho man pleaded guilty today to breaching the U.S. Capitol for the purpose of obstructing Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the National Security Division.
Josiah Colt, 34, of Meridian, Idaho, pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with obstruction of an official proceeding. He faces up to 20 years in prison as well as three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. As part of the plea agreement, Colt has agreed to cooperate with the Government’s ongoing investigation of the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. The Honorable Thomas F. Hogan, who accepted Colt’s guilty plea, scheduled a status hearing for Oct. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to court papers filed today, shortly after 2 p.m. on Jan. 6, crowd members who were gathered outside the Capitol forced entry into the building, ultimately causing the Joint Session to be stopped and Members of Congress, including the Vice President, to be evacuated from the House and Senate chambers. According to his guilty plea, as Members were subject to evacuation, Colt entered the Capitol and made his way to the Senate chamber, where he followed other individuals who forced their way past U.S. Capitol Police into the Gallery—shortly after Senators had been evacuated. Colt then climbed from the Gallery onto the Senate floor and ran to a chair reserved for the Senate President, the Vice President of the United States.
Later that day, Colt posted a video to Facebook in which he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a traitor and claimed to be the first person who breached the Capitol to sit in her chair. In fact, Colt had occupied the chair in the Senate reserved for the Senate President.
According to court papers, Colt traveled to Washington, D.C. with Nathan DeGrave and Ronald Sandlin, who have been charged separately in connection with the Capitol breach; each has pleaded not guilty and their cases remain pending. In preparation for his travel, Colt purchased a holster for a Glock .43 pistol he owned, a gas mask, and a helmet. Together with Sandlin and DeGrave, the trio brought gas masks, helmets, shin guards, body armor, a handheld taser/stun gun, an expandable baton, walkie talkies, bear mace, and Colt’s Glock .43 pistol with them to the Washington Metropolitan Area. On Jan. 6, Colt left his firearm at his hotel, but donned the protective gear described above and wore it into the Capitol.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division. It is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Salt Lake City Field Office.
In the more than 180 days since Jan. 6, more than 535 individuals have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including over 165 individuals charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
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