Matthew Brackley, 39, of Waldoboro, pleaded guilty to one charge of assaulting law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Photo from court documents

A man who lost his 2022 bid for the Maine Senate pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding police as he stormed the Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 riot three years ago.

Matthew Brackley, 40, of Waldoboro, could receive a maximum of eight years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at his sentencing on May 14, according to court documents. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop seven lesser charges, including civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly conduct in a restricted building.

Brackley ran for the Maine Senate seat in District 24 as a Republican two years ago and lost to Democrat Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic. He also owns a small business, Brackley Electric, based in West Bath, and is married with three children.

He declined to discuss his case Thursday afternoon, citing advice from his attorney.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court, Brackley emailed Maine’s senators on Jan. 5, 2021, and urged them to “stand up to this blatant corruption and support a second term for President Donald J. Trump.” He flew to Washington hours later to hear Trump speak at the now-infamous “Stop the Steal” rally on the National Mall the next day.

Trump, who two months prior had lost his reelection bid to Joe Biden, refused to accept the results and urged the crowd to fight to overturn the election. Many in the crowd, including Brackley, marched to the Capitol.


A grand jury indicted the former president last August on four charges stemming from his efforts to stay in power, including conspiracy to defraud the United States. He has pleaded not guilty and remains the presumptive Republican nominee for president in 2024.

According to the FBI affidavit, video footage shows Brackley among the flood of rioters who pushed their way into the Capitol building in an effort to prevent Congress from tallying the electoral votes that would finalize Biden’s win. Multiple times, police attempted to stop Brackley and his fellow rioters from moving further into the building. And multiple times, the group pushed forward, including one instance when Brackley turned to other rioters, yelled “Let’s go,” and used his arms to push through a pair of officers and lead his group down a hallway, according to the affidavit.

Video shows Brackley near the front of a group who encountered a line of police armed with riot gear near the door to the Senate chamber. After a standoff that lasted several minutes, one officer hit Brackley and others with a chemical spray that forced them to retreat, according to the affidavit. Brackley left the Capitol at 3:05 p.m., about 40 minutes after he entered the building.

Investigators initially linked Brackley to the riot by collecting GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth data from Google, according to the affidavit. After comparing his driver’s license photo to video of the riot, police arrested him last July.

More than 1,200 people, including eight other men with Maine connections, have been charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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