Nebraska man pleads guilty to charge in U.S. Capitol riot

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man accused of participating in the storming of the U.S. Capitol has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in the case.

In exchange for Brandon Straka’s plea, a felony count of impeding a law enforcement officer during civil disorder was dropped.

In court documents outlining Straka’s guilty plea on Wednesday, prosecutors say Straka, 44, of Omaha, entered the U.S. Capitol with a mob on Jan. 6. In a video he recorded himself, he’s heard yelling, “Go! Go! Go!” to encourage others to illegally enter the Capitol, prosecutors said. Straka also is heard on the video chiming in with a crowd chanting “Take it! Take it!” as others tried to take a Capitol police officer’s shield, prosecutors said.

Straka was arrested in Omaha on Jan. 25. In an arrest affidavit, an FBI special agent said that in the video, Straka was wearing the same hat, sunglasses and coat that he wore during a speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C.

Straka is a right-wing social media influencer who reportedly founded the #WalkAway campaign during the 2018 midterm election cycle. As part of the movement, Straka billed himself as a one-time liberal who encouraged people to leave the Democratic Party.

Straka faces up to six months in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 17. Federal prosecutors have been leaning toward recommending either short prison sentences of a few months or home confinement in the few resolved cases so far out of more than 600. Even those not accused of engaging in any violence have received some time behind bars.

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