Man seen carrying speaker’s lectern at Jan. 6 riot pleads guilty

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Man seen carrying speaker’s lectern at Jan. 6 riot pleads guilty

The Florida man photographed carrying the House speaker’s lectern and waving during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor Monday, according to court records.

The man, Adam Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty to a count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, records show.

A plea agreement estimates sentencing guidelines of up to six months in prison on the misdemeanor charge.

Johnson admitted in court documents that he entered the Capitol after a pro-Trump mob attacked the building and police and that he found the lectern with the House speaker’s seal near a staircase and carried it off “because he believed it would make a good prop for a picture.”

The photograph made him one of the most recognizable people in the riot, which occurred as Congress was formally counting the electoral votes affirming President Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. The violence followed weeks of lies about voter fraud and after a “stop the steal” rally.

Attorneys for Johnson did not immediately reply to requests for comment Monday night. He is free on bond, and sentencing is scheduled for February.

The charge carries a maximum of a year in prison, but estimated sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months and a fine of $500 to $9,500, the plea agreement says.

Johnson left the lectern in the middle of the Rotunda, according to court documents. It was found in a hallway off the Rotunda.

He was arrested two days after the attack. The photograph went viral on social media.

Another person whose photo made him a public face of the riot, the so-called QAnon Shaman, Jacob Anthony Chansley, was sentenced last week to over three years in prison. He pleaded guilty to a felony.

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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