A Waldoboro man who once ran for the Maine Senate was sentenced to a little more than a year in federal prison for pushing two police officers during the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Matt Brackley Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Matthew Brackley, 40, was also ordered Tuesday to serve two years of probation and pay $3,000 in fines and restitution for damage to the Capitol, which prosecutors say sustained a total of almost $3 million in damage on Jan. 6, 2021, as hundreds of people broke into the building while Congress was working to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Brackley pleaded guilty in January to one count of assaulting, impeding or resisting police and was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington.

“We appreciate the Court considering Mr. Brackley’s lifetime of good deeds and his display of sincere remorse when fashioning a sentence well below the sentence sought by the government,” his attorney Steven Levin said in a statement after sentencing.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols to sentence Brackley to 28 months behind bars, followed by two years of probation and $2,000 in restitution.

He admitted in court records that he forced his way past police and remained in the building for nearly 40 minutes.


Multiple times, police tried to stop Brackley and others from moving further into the building. And multiple times, the group pushed forward, including one instance in which Brackley pushed through two Capitol police officers after asking them where Nancy Pelosi’s office was.

He also admitted to emailing Maine’s U.S. senators and a representative from Missouri on Jan. 5, 2021, before flying to D.C. that night, telling them he was “convinced that our presidential election was compromised by foreign actors and by traitors to our country” and imploring them to instead support a second term for Donald Trump, according to court records. “I can assure you the people will.”

Before storming the Capitol, he also emailed two accountants who worked for him to cancel a meeting. “I am in D.C. to protest the travesty that was our recent elections. See you next week,” he wrote, according to court records.

Brackley was arrested on July 21, 2023, more than two years later. He is one of 12 Mainers who have been charged for their ties to the riot.

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

Prosecutors had argued a longer sentence would deter others from attacking a democratic process. They also suggested Brackley doesn’t regret anything.

“Brackley has not actually shown any remorse for his violent conduct on January 6,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing recommendation. “Following his arrest, he gave no indication of regret for his actions, instead telling federal agents that what happened was ‘God’s plan.’ Rather than reflect on the wrongfulness of his assault on police officers, Brackley compared the officers arresting him to Nazis.”


His defense attorneys asked instead for six months intermittent confinement. They insisted Brackley has shown remorse and that an intermittent sentence would also support Brackley’s 60 employees at Brackley Electric in West Bath.

They sent 18 letters from friends, employees, past co-workers, fellow parishioners at church and family to Nichols, urging him to have mercy on Brackley. A few denounced Brackley’s actions on Jan. 6, but said it was a stark contrast to the generous man they knew.

“Mr. Brackley is a loving father of three, a devoted husband to his wife of nearly 20 years, an employer for more than 60 employees, and a giving and hard-working member of his community and church,” his attorneys wrote.

His supporters said he regularly raised and donated money and time for neighbors facing hardships. He connected several letter writers with jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.

“He has tried to make a positive difference in our great country by running to be the senator of the state of Maine in 2022,” his parents wrote in one letter. “May his patriotism not be extinguished due to his regrettable actions on January 6th.”

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