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Cliff Meteer, charged with illegally entering Capitol on January 6, pleads guilty

In the plea agreement, Meteer pleaded guilty to Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in the Capitol Building.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville man charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection pleaded guilty to Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in a Capitol Building, according to a plea agreement Clifford James Meteer signed.

Prosecutors charged Meteer with:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds without Lawful Authority
  • Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Entering and Remaining on the Floor of Congress
  • Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in a Capitol Building

However, in the agreement, Meteer pleaded guilty to only the last charge. That charge carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison and up to 5 years probation. 

The agreement said Meteer would not be charged further for his actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

As part of the plea agreement, Meteer signed a "Statement of Offense," acknowledging what he did on Jan. 6, with facts the court would assume are proven without a reasonable doubt. 

In that statement, Meteer agreed that individuals forced entry into the U.S. Capitol by "breaking windows and assaulting members of law enforcement," and "the riot resulted in substantial damage to the U.S. Capitol." 

The statement also said Meteer knew at the time he entered the Capitol "he did not have permission to enter the building." 

However, in an interview with WBIR in August, Meteer said "there was no concerted effort to storm the barricades, it was all very church social."

Meteer is not accused of any violent acts or destruction of property at the Capitol on January 6. 

The statement of offense said Meteer entered the Senate Wing door at 2:24 p.m. on January 6. He displayed a sign that said "Stop the Steal," walked through the Capitol, towards the House chamber until "law enforcement forcibly removed Meteer and others."

On August 10, 2021, the statement of offense said FBI agents executed a search warrant on his house and he refused to answer questions about whether he entered the Capitol on January 6. 

The statement said law enforcement found more than 10 firearms at his house on the day of his arrest. 

The plea agreement said the court is not bound by the agreement between prosecutors and Meteer. He will be sentenced in April 2022.