Knoxville man pleads guilty to charge following Jan. 6 Capitol riot
In August, special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Clifford James Meteer.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville man has pleaded guilty to one charge after participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to court documents obtained by WVLT News.
In August, special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Clifford James Meteer after identifying him with surveillance videos showing him at the Capitol and social media posts, officials said.
Court documents state that Meteer pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. The charge carries a maximum sentence of six months of imprisonment, a term of probation up to five years and a fine up to $5,000, according to officials.
In the plea, records state that the Department of Justice will not further prosecute Meteer, and the remaining charges will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. Those dismissed will include knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, entering and remaining on the floor of congress.
The DOJ said that the riot caused approximately $1,495,326.55 in damages. Meteer will be required to pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol due to the plea.
He also signed a “Statement of Offense” document acknowledging the events and that he entered the property without permission.
According to documents, Meteer entered the Capitol through the Senate Wing door around 2:30 p.m. He then allegedly spent about half an hour wandering around the halls of the building before being escorted out by law enforcement around 2:55 p.m.
In the footage obtained by the FBI, Meteer can be seen holding a sign that reads “STOP THE STEAL” on one side and “SAVE THE REPUBLIC” on the other. He is shown in the report from multiple angles inside and outside the Capitol building.
Meteer also posted on Facebook about the riots, saying, “I was one of those idiots scaling the wall,” according to the report.
Meteer spoke to WVLT News on Jan. 6, 2022.
“Aside from having the FBI coming in and stealing all my weapons, put in jail for a day, and under a cloud of federal scrutiny, everything’s fine,” Meteer said. “Keep on keeping on.”
Meteer said he has no regrets and still claims that the election was manipulated, despite several independent agencies confirming that Joe Biden won.
“I hate being drug through this, but what’s the alternative?” Meteer said. “If our vote isn’t taken seriously, we don’t have a republic. If powers can manipulate the power of elections, we don’t have a republic.”
Meteer told WVLT News that Capitol rioters are mistreated, comparing them to Jews in the Holocaust.
The riots occurred when supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the building, entering and causing property damage.
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