A Pennsylvania man who told the FBI and local news media that he organized buses for 200 people to travel to Washington, DC, for the January 6 Donald Trump rally, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a low-level charge for taking part in the US Capitol insurrection.
Just before the mob pushed into the east front of the Capitol after the Trump rally, Frank Scavo recorded himself on his phone saying, “Here we go,” just before he stepped into the building. Once inside, he posed for a photo in front of a painting of the War of 1812, and recorded himself chanting, “God bless America!” and “Treason!” according to court records.
Scavo spent eight minutes inside the Capitol chanting with the mob and recording himself as he walked through the building, according to his admissions. Scavo pleaded guilty to illegally demonstrating in the Capitol, a misdemeanor.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Scavo told district Judge Royce Lamberth that he was “regretfully” guilty of the offense.
The admissions Scavo pleaded to didn’t mention the four buses that he organized to bring people from eastern Pennsylvania to Washington for the rally, and there’s no indication those tours sparked investigators’ interest past their initial round of questioning.
On January 15, Scavo had told the FBI in an interview about chartering the buses, according to records from his arrest.
“Scavo stated that he was a supporter of President Trump and that a friend of his who is also a Trump supporter inquired about going to Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, to attend the rally Trump had announced. According to Scavo, as word got around, a large group of people in the Old Forge area also expressed interest in traveling to Washington. Scavo decided to charter buses due to the amount of people interested,” an FBI statement in his case in March said.
As part of his plea deal, Scavo agreed to show his social media accounts to law enforcement. He agreed to pay $500 in restitution for damage done to the Capitol, and the misdemeanor charge he faces has a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison. This has become a standard deal that the Justice Department has offered to nonviolent rioters.
Prosecutors have charged at least 600 people in connection to the Capitol riot. More than 50 defendants have pleaded guilty so far, with most to date admitting to misdemeanor charges.
Scavo is set to be sentenced in November.