In a recent development, an Illinois man has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. The sentencing occured today as a result of his actions that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Along with the prison term, the defendant will also serve 36 months of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution. The man was found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, as well as remaining in a restricted building or grounds. The court documents reveal that he entered the Capitol building through a fire door and proceeded to the Senate Chamber, where he took photographs. This case serves as a reminder of the ongoing investigations and legal consequences faced by individuals involved in the Capitol breach.
On January 6, 2021, a breach of the U.S. Capitol occurred during a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election. This breach, carried out by supporters of then-president Donald Trump, disrupted the democratic process and resulted in multiple charges for those involved. One individual, Thomas B. Adams Jr. of Springfield, Illinois, was among those who entered the Capitol building that day. Adams faced felony and misdemeanor charges for his actions, which included obstruction of an official proceeding and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
Summary of the Case
Thomas B. Adams Jr. was sentenced to 14 months in prison for his involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta handed down the sentence, which also included 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 in restitution. Adams was found guilty in February 2023 of the felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, as well as the misdemeanor charge of remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
Conviction and Sentencing
After being found guilty of the charges brought against him, Thomas B. Adams Jr. was sentenced to 14 months in prison. This sentence serves as a consequence for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress and impeded the electoral vote counting process. In addition to the prison term, Adams was ordered to serve 36 months of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution.
Actions During the Capitol Breach
On January 6, 2021, Thomas B. Adams Jr. joined a group of rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol building. According to court documents, Adams passed through a security perimeter on the west side of the Capitol building before entering. He was among the rioters who entered the building through the Parliamentarian Door, a fire door. Adams later told the FBI that other individuals had breached the door using “window washing equipment.” He claimed to have walked into the Capitol building over broken glass and mentioned that one of the doors he entered had a broken window.
Entering the Capitol Building
After entering the U.S. Capitol building, Adams disregarded a line of U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attempting to stop the rioters. He made his way to the Senate Chamber, which he accessed by walking past Vice President Pence’s ceremonial office. Adams knowingly entered the Senate Chamber without authorization and proceeded to walk among the Senators’ desks along with several other rioters. While on the Senate floor, Adams used his cell phone to take photographs. He was eventually escorted out of the Capitol building by law enforcement.
Incident in the Senate Chamber
Once Thomas B. Adams Jr. reached the Senate Chamber, he walked into the Senate well, where he and other rioters walked among the Senators’ desks. Adams used his cell phone to take pictures while inside the Chamber. At approximately 3:11 pm, law enforcement escorted Adams out of the Capitol building via the Senate Carriage Door. Adams described this event to the FBI as being “forced out.” This incident highlights the severity of his actions and demonstrates the breach of security protocols that occurred during the Capitol breach.
Intent and Motivation
During his interactions with the FBI, Thomas B. Adams Jr. claimed that his intention was to peacefully occupy the Capitol building. He stated that since they were planning to occupy, they were uncertain about the duration of their presence, whether it would be a day, five days, or a week. Adams also mentioned that his motivation for participating in the breach was influenced by former president Donald Trump’s claim that he had been cheated out of victory. This statement sheds light on the motivations and beliefs that drove Adams and others to take part in the breach.
Investigation and Prosecution
The investigation into Thomas B. Adams Jr.’s involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol was carried out by the FBI’s Springfield Field Office and Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case, with significant support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. This collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies underscores the gravity of the Capitol breach and the commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions.
Assistance from Other Agencies
Multiple agencies played critical roles in the investigation and prosecution of Thomas B. Adams Jr. and other individuals involved in the breach of the U.S. Capitol. The FBI’s Springfield and Washington Field Offices conducted the investigation, while the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police provided valuable assistance throughout the process. This collaborative effort between federal and local law enforcement agencies demonstrates the commitment to justice and ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. Capitol.
The sentencing of Thomas B. Adams Jr. to 14 months in prison serves as a consequence for his involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Adams’s actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress and impeded the electoral vote counting process. This case highlights the ongoing efforts to hold individuals accountable for their actions during the Capitol breach, with more than 1,000 individuals arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach. The investigation remains ongoing, emphasizing the commitment to justice and the preservation of democratic processes.