WASHINGTON — Two New Yorkers pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting police on Jan. 6 – a plea that could see them both serve prison time and could end the military career of one, who re-enlisted after the Capitol riot.
James Mault and Cody Mattice appeared before D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell on Friday to enter their pleas. Each said they were guilty of one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers on Jan. 6 – a felony charge with a recommended sentencing range of 37-46 months in prison and up to three years of supervised release afterward.
Mault, 30, appeared in person in court in an orange inmate’s jumpsuit. Mattice, 29, appeared via video teleconference from the facility where he was also being held in custody. The men told Howell they brought batons and pepper spray to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and eventually made their way to the very front of the crowd at the Lower West Terrace Tunnel, where a violent conflict with police was underway.
“Did you essentially crawl across the top of the crowd to reach the tunnel?” Howell asked them.
Both men said they did. At that point, they said, they each grabbed canisters of pepper spray and sprayed them at police. Mault and Mattice also admitted they taunted police, telling them, “Your jobs will be here when you come back after we kick the s*** out of everybody.”
The two men were identified in part thanks to the hard hats they wore during the riot. Mault’s in particular was covered in union stickers, including stickers for his own union, Ironworkers Local 33 of Rochester, New York. In an interview with the FBI last year, he told agents they wore the hard hats before they were worried about “antifa attacking Trump supporters.”
While both men pleaded guilty to a felony charge, the conviction could have a larger impact on Mault, who re-enlisted in the U.S. Army following the riot. Mault had previously served in Kuwait between 2012-16 and, at the time of his arrest last year, was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division. His conviction could ultimately lead to a discharge from the military.
Both men will be back in court on July 15 before Judge Howell for sentencing.
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