A southern Delaware man who waved a Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection was convicted Wednesday, along with his son, for storming the building.
Federal judge Trevor N. McFadden found Kevin Seefried, 53, and 23-year-old son Hunter guilty of felony obstruction of an official proceeding — the certification of fellow Delawarean Joe Biden’s election as president — and several misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct and parading.
The two men, who live in Laurel, a small town in southwestern Sussex County, did not testify during their non-jury trial this week in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Hunter Seefried was acquitted, however, of using violence to enter the building and destruction of government property at what Biden later called the the “cradle of liberty.”
That charge was based on the younger Seefried using a gloved hand to clear a shard of glass from the window pane that fellow supporters of then-President Donald Trump had broken moments earlier with a police riot shield and a wooden board.
Prosecutors said in court papers that the Seefrieds “were highly motivated and managed to be among the very first rioters to approach the Capitol building near a critical entry point — the Senate Wing Door.”
The Seefrieds’ attorneys argued during the trial that they committed no violence in the building and had no intention of disrupting the joint session for Congress to certify the Electoral College vote that deemed Biden the victor over Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.
Prosecutor Benet Kearney countered that the Seefrieds were captured on video complaining about the vote count and “thought the election was stolen and they were upset about it.”
A Capitol police officer also testified that he encountered Kevin Seefried before a mob chased him up stairs. The officer said Seefried cursed at him and jabbed at him with the base end of the Confederate flag three or four times without making contact with him.
Another Capitol police officer who confronted the mob near the Senate chamber recalled that Kevin Seefried asked, “Why are you protecting them?”
Though neither Seefried testified, court records said the FBI was tipped off to their presence inside the Capitol after Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on the nearby Ellipse, across the street from the White House. A co-worker of Hunter had told authorities he had “bragged about being in the Capitol with his father.”
Both men spoke “voluntarily” to the FBI days after the insurrection. During that interview, Kevin Seefried told agents he brought the Confederate flag from his home, where it is usually flying outside, records showed.
Kevin Seefried said during the interview that he traveled to Washington to listen to Trump speak. Then he and his son marched more than a mile to the Capitol, “led by an individual with a bull horn,” records showed.
The Seefrieds are among more than 800 people nationwide who have been arrested in connection with the insurrection that is now the subject of a congressional investigation and hearings.
Kevin Seefried’s attorneys had no comment after the verdict.
But Edsen Bostic, who represented Hunter Seefried, said the “split verdict” for his client shows that the judge “gave a lot of attention in trying to determine” his client’s culpability.
“My client is a very decent young man who made some mistakes on January 6th. He has been extremely remorseful and reflective upon what occurred that day,” Bostic said.
Bostic said Hunter Seefried is a hard-working drywall installer and “great uncle to his nieces and nephews” who is looking to resume his life in a law-abiding manner.
Bostic noted that Hunter was like “a lot of people that would not otherwise have been caught up in something like this, that got caught up. The rhetoric was really great out there.”
Sentencing is set for September. Bostic said there’s no mandatory prison time for the offenses and “we’re very hopeful the court will take into consideration his youthfulness and he’s lived an exemplary life until this incident occurred on January 6th, 2021.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.