On June 30, The Epoch Times reported that George Tenney III, 35, of Anderson, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to opening the inner Capitol Rotunda doors during the breach on Jan. 6, 2021. But there are a few problems with this plea.
The article reports:
Federal prosecutors have charged a number of defendants, including members of the Oath Keepers, with “breaching” this entrance to the Capitol.
However, neither the huge bronze Columbus Doors on the outside, nor the magnetically secured inner doors can be opened from the outside.
Security video shows Tenney standing in the east foyer of the Rotunda and looking off-camera as if listening to someone.
Even though the inner doors can be opened in an emergency by holding the door handle down for three seconds, Tenney was able to open the left door as soon as he touched it, the video shows.
“A police officer who was outside tried to push [the doors] closed and Tenney resisted pushing against the door to try to keep it open,” the Department of Justice said in a news release.
“An employee of the House Sergeant-at-Arms then ran towards Tenney, pushing him aside in an effort to close the door.”
After assisting protesters coming through the door, “Tenney ultimately had to be pulled back inside so that the Rotunda Doors could be closed to keep other rioters from entering,” the DOJ said.
“He then retreated to the Rotunda and exited the Capitol through a window at approximately 2:32 p.m.”
The article concludes:
Despite Tenney’s admission of guilt as part of a plea bargain, serious questions remain about the Columbus Doors and who opened them, allowing crowds to stream inside the Rotunda.
The ornate doors are 17 feet tall and weigh 20,000 pounds.
Video evidence from the east side of the Capitol shows the Columbus Doors were wide open as crowds first approached the steps leading to the Rotunda on Jan. 6.
Just before the police line on the steps was breached by protesters, video shows the bronze doors were closed, and they remained so as crowds gathered outside the entrance. It is not clear why they were opened again, and by whom.
I wonder if someone who was out-of-sight was instructing Tenney on how to open the doors. If so, why?
The article notes:
Tenney faces up to five years in prison on the civil disorder charge and 20 years on the obstruction charge. He will be sentenced on Oct. 20.
It will be interesting to see how his sentence compares to the sentences already given. We already know how it compares to the non-existent sentences given to actual rioters in the summer of 2020.