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Local man accused in Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection in plea deal talks with prosecutors

Federal prosecutors brought four charges against Clifford Meteer for walking into the Capitol on January 6.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The attorney for an East Tennessee man recorded illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection indicated Wednesday at a federal court status hearing that he and U.S. prosecutors are close to a plea agreement.

Prosecutors brought four charges against Clifford Meteer for walking into the halls of Congress on January 6 as a mob stormed the building, vandalized offices and strolled into the U.S. Senate.

Meteer is charged 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

In court Wednesday, a prosecutor said he offered Meteer a misdemeanor plea agreement, with a deadline of Jan. 6, 2022. 

Meteer's lawyer said he hoped to come to an agreement "well before" that date. 

The U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., set a new hearing to discuss a potential plea agreement or a date for trial on Jan. 13. 

Investigators identified Meteer in the Capitol in news footage, Facebook pictures and video footage from inside the Capitol building. 

The complaint said Meteer walked through the Capitol building, carrying a sign that said "stop the steal," but did not say he took part in any violence. 

Repeated claims that the November 2020 presidential election was rigged have been proven false. Judges in more than 50 federal lawsuits said there is no evidence that the election was stolen or that there was widespread voter fraud.  

RELATED: Feds: Knoxville man illegally entered U.S. Capitol during Jan. 6 riot, carrying "Stop the Steal" sign

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