MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Olive Branch, Mississippi, man was found guilty Thursday on charges he faced for the Jan. 6, 2021, breach at the U.S. Capitol.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Matthew Bledsoe, 38, formerly of Cordova, Tennessee, was convicted of felony charge - obstruction of an official proceeding, and four misdemeanor counts - entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.
Prosecutors said in the days following the November 2020 election, Bledsoe began posting about the results on social media. They said on Jan. 6, 2021, he went to a rally near the Ellipse, then headed to the Capitol, where he “illegally entered the grounds shortly after 2:13 p.m.” They said Bledsoe scaled a wall on the Upper Northwest Terrace and went into the Capitol building through a fire door at the Senate Wing.
According to prosecutors, Bledsoe yelled, “In the Capitol. This is our house. We pay for this s---. Where’s those pieces of s---at?” They said he then climbed a statue and was outside the corridor to the House Chamber near the Speaker’s Lobby. They said he spent about 22 minutes inside.
Prosecutors said Bledsoe returned within two hours, lingering near the East Rotunda Doors as law enforcement was securing the building and grounds.
They said Bledsoe continued to post on social media and message family and friends about what happened on Jan. 6. He was arrested days later on Jan. 13, 2021.
Bledsoe is set to be sentenced on Oct. 21, 2022. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines on the felony charge, and up to three years in prison and fines for the misdemeanor charges.
Since Jan. 6, 2021, the Department of Justice said more than 850 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the Capitol breach. More than 260 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.