NH man pleads guilty to unlawful "picketing" in Jan. 6 Capitol breach

·2 min read

Jul. 16—A Bridgewater man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor offense for his part in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Thomas Gallagher entered a guilty plea to a charge of "parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building," during a hearing Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C. He remains free on personal recognizance pending his sentencing on Oct. 13.

Gallagher faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, according to the plea agreement. He also agreed to pay $500 in restitution for his share of damages to the U.S. Capitol, which federal officials estimate at nearly $1.5 million.

According to court documents, Gallagher traveled to Washington from New Hampshire on Jan. 6 to attend a rally for then-President Donald Trump. Like thousands of others, Gallagher made his way to the Capitol after the rally.

Video surveillance captured Gallagher walking in the Capitol's visitor center, where he "appeared to admonish another rioter not to throw a chair," according to court documents.

Gallagher and others gathered in a corridor where U.S. Capitol police officers had formed a defensive line.

Police ordered the rioters to leave the building. When they refused, officers began arresting individuals who had entered the building unlawfully, including Gallagher, the documents state.

After his arrest, Gallagher cooperated with law enforcement and consented to be interviewed by the FBI, although that interview never took place, the records said.

Federal prosecutors said Gallagher knew he did not have permission to enter the Capitol that day. However, the documents said, "The FBI uncovered no evidence that Gallagher engaged in violent or disruptive conduct at the Capitol grounds or inside the building," the court documents state.

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