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SC man pleads guilty to Jan. 6 Capitol breach charges; was first man to open Rotunda doors

George Amos Tenney III accepted a plea agreement on Thursday stating he violated federal law while breaching the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

WASHINGTON — Another person has pleaded guilty to participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol breach.

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On Thursday, George Amos Tenney III, 35, pleaded guilty to civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. 

Court documents say, Tenney, an Anderson, SC resident, traveled to Washington after posting on Facebook "[i]t’s starting to look like we may siege the capital building and congress if the electoral votes don’t go right.”

On Jan. 6, Tenney entered the Capitol building and moved to the area around the Rotunda doors while rioters were outside around 2:24 p.m. After multiple attempts, Tenney was able to open one of the doors. 

A struggle ensued between Tenney and a police officer as the latter tried to keep the door closed. An employee of the House Sergeant at Arms attempted to pull Tenney away but he and other rioters surrounded the agent and pushed him away.

Tenney shouted "Stand up, Patriots, stand up!" while pushing off an officer. He returned to the Rotunda and assisted the rioters, patting them on the back and pushing away other officers who came near.

Tenney exited the Capitol at 2:32 p.m. 

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The South Carolina man was one of the thousands of people who broke into the U.S. Capitol to demand the overturn of the 2020 Presidential Election results.

Investigators met with Tenney a month after the incident as federal officials looked to hold those involved accountable.

Tenney told investigators during an interview that he only stayed around until he "realized that something bad was happening." Tenney claimed, "he told people to stop damaging things and helped officers who had fallen to the ground to get back on their feet."

During the interview, Tenney expressed regret about going inside the Capitol building.

RELATED: Trump lashes out at Jan. 6 committee as he teases 2024 run

Tenney was arrested on June 29, 2021 in Anderson. Tenney initially pleaded not guilty to the nine charges. However, he accepted a plea deal on Thursday which finds him guilty of two charges while dismissing the other seven.

As part of the plea deal, Tenney is fined $2,000. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 20. Tenney was originally also indicted on seven other charges.

Tenney faces up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction charge and up to five years in prison for the civil disorder charge.

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