Auburn man sentenced to 78 months for role in Trump's January 6 coup d'état attempt

Sean Michael McHugh of Auburn will spend the next six and a half years in federal prision for his role in Donald J. Trump's attempted coup d'état. |  

An Auburn, Calif. man was recently sentenced for his role in former President Donald J. Trump's coup d'état attempt.

Sean Michael McHugh, 36, of Auburn, California, was sentenced on Thursday, September 7 by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates to 78 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. Judge Bates also ordered McHugh to pay $2,000 restitution and a $5,000 fine.

In a stipulated bench trial before Judge Bates, McHugh was found guilty of obstruction and assaulting, impeding, or interfering with law enforcement officers.

Prsecrutors showed McHugh infomred other of his intened to travel to Washington, D.C., to “fight” and “storm Congress.” McHugn has a can of bear spray Washington, D.C., and he carried it in a holster for ready access.

The bear spray is 50 percent stronger than the pepper spray used by law enforcement. Before the riot, McHugh urged others to “march on Congress directly after Trump’s speech.”

McHugh was part of the initial breach of the Capitol grounds at the Peace Circle. Once he arrived at the Capitol, McHugh actively participated in at least four attempts to breach perimeters established by officers during the riot.

He was one of the initial rioters to breach a police line and enter the West Plaza who then wrestled with an officer for control of a barricade protecting access to the Capitol and assaulted a line of U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers on the West Plaza, hitting them with his bear spray, causing the officers to back away from the line, and preventing them from performing their official duties.

Finally, McHugh helped other rioters to push a large metal sign into officers. In between these acts of aggression, McHugh used his megaphone to encourage other rioters to act against law enforcement.

After failed coup attempt, McHugh posted multiple messages on Facebook bragging about his actions during the riot and reveling in the violence against police, boasting, “…we stormed them and we took Congress”

McHugh's case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California assistst and was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance from the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office.

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