East Georgia woman pleads guilty in Jan. 6 charge

Nolan Harold Kidd (center) and Savannah Danielle McDonald (right) are seen in an interview with an independent journalist outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Kidd and McDonald were arrested by the FBI June 11, 2021, in connection with the insurrection. Credit: YouTube

Credit: Young Patriot Society - YouTube

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Nolan Harold Kidd (center) and Savannah Danielle McDonald (right) are seen in an interview with an independent journalist outside the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Kidd and McDonald were arrested by the FBI June 11, 2021, in connection with the insurrection. Credit: YouTube

Credit: Young Patriot Society - YouTube

Hours after the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot subsided, Savannah Danielle McDonald still bubbled enthusiasm over her part in it.

“I’m the only girl that made it into the Senate,” McDonald, then a 20-year-old resident of Elberton, wrote in a group chat on Snapchat later obtained by the FBI. “We weren’t just there we went farther than almost anyone into the building . . . [m]aybe about top 15 people.”

In a brief hearing Tuesday, McDonald pleaded guilty to illegally demonstrating in the Capitol, a misdemeanor charge that could result in up to six months in prison when she is sentenced in April.

According to court records, McDonald and co-defendant Nolan Harold Kidd were captured by security cameras and photographers as they made their way through a fire door on the Senate side and into the Capitol where they spent about 30 minutes.

The pair recorded their experience in cell phone videos obtained by investigators.

“I’ve been tear-gassed three times,” McDonald said in one video taken inside the Capitol. “Three times.”

“Me too,” a male voice replied. “But we broke, we broke through.”

Outside the Capitol, they told an independent video journalist the protest was peaceful, omitting the part about the gassing and the breached barricades.

“They were so nice to us,” McDonald told the Young Patriot Society in a video posted to YouTube and TikTok.

Kidd, who was charged alongside McDonald, was not part of the plea agreement prosecutors made with McDonald. His lawyer would not comment on the status of his case. McDonald’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

McDonald is the fifth of Georgia’s 17 Jan. 6 defendants to plead guilty. The three who have pleaded to misdemeanors were not charged with violent crimes but admitted they entered the Capitol illegally.

In a separate court hearing Wednesday, another defendant, 39-year-old Jonathan Davis Laurens of Duluth, announced his intention to accept a plea deal. Laurens faces multiple misdemeanor charges related to his entry into the Capitol, but details of the plea deal were not made public.

A plea hearing in his case was set for Feb. 2.