NATIONAL NEWS

Former Republican legislative candidate pleads guilty to role in the US Capitol riot

Jan 19, 2024, 6:52 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A former Republican legislative candidate pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers during the U.S. Capitol riot, officials said.

Matthew Brackley, 40, of Waldoboro, Maine, traveled to Washington for former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, entered the U.S. Capitol and asked for the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office before shouting “Let’s go!” and using his elbows to push past police officers, according to prosecutors. His group was stopped by again by police before chemical spray was used to break up the demonstrators, prosecutors said.

Brackley will be sentenced May 14 in Washington, D.C., after reaching an agreement in which he pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement officers. The crime carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison.

Defense lawyer Steven Levin said his client has accepted full responsibility for his actions.

“His aberrant conduct, which lasted less than an hour and for which he is extremely remorseful, stands in stark contrast to his otherwise lifelong law-abiding character,” Levin said Friday in an email.

Brackley tried unsuccessfully to unseat Democratic state Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic last year. His campaign website described him as a Maine Maritime Academy graduate whose approach would be to have “respectful, thoughtful conversations on the issues.”

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Former Republican legislative candidate pleads guilty to role in the US Capitol riot