WASHINGTON — A judge's son who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, while clad in fur, wearing a stolen police vest and carrying a police shield pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts during a virtual court hearing.
Aaron Mostofsky, a 35-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to one felony count of civil disorder, one count of theft of government property and one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building. U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg accepted Mostofsky's guilty plea and set a sentencing hearing for May.
Under the terms of a plea deal, federal prosecutors will drop the charge against Mostofsky that subjected him to the longest potential prison sentence: obstruction of an official proceeding. But Mostofsky pleaded guilty to a felony charge that made it unlawful to "obstruct, impede, and interfere with a law enforcement officer" during the commission of a civil disorder, a charge that comes with a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
Mostofsky's father is Judge Steven Mostofsky of the Kings County Supreme Court in New York. The younger Mostofsky told the New York Post during the Capitol riot last year that he believed then-President Donald Trump's supporters were "cheated" and that certain states were "stolen."
In a statement of offense, Mostofsky admitted he traveled to Washington, D.C., by bus and was "dressed as a caveman and carrying a walking stick or rod" when he entered the Capitol.
"The defendant explained to a friend that the fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election was so obvious, even a caveman would know the election was stolen," the statement of offense read.
Mostofsky pushed against a police line and was approximately the 12th person to enter the Capitol through the Senate wing door after rioters smashed windows and broke open the door, the statement of offense said. Mostofsky, who picked up a bulletproof vest outside the Capitol, also grabbed a Capitol Police riot shield inside the building, it said.
Court documents showed that the plea offer was extended to Mostofsky on Jan. 20. Under the terms of the agreement, Mostofsky could get a sentencing reduction if he clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility.
The FBI has made more than 700 arrests in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building in an attempt to overturn his election defeat.
That figure, however, only represents a fraction of the total estimated number of individuals who committed chargeable offenses that day, either by unlawfully entering the Capitol or assaulting law enforcement on Capitol grounds. Online sleuths investigating the Capitol attack have identified more than 2,300 people who entered the U.S. Capitol, and the FBI’s Capitol wanted page features images of hundreds of suspects who have not yet been arrested. The bureau has received hundreds of thousands of tips from the public in the course of the unprecedented investigation.