Missouri paper encourages courts to throw the book at Trump insurrectionists to send a message

Ahead of the Monday sentencing of Paul Allard Hodgkins, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is calling for the judge to impose time in prison.

"What happened on Jan. 6 wasn't just about trespassing and property damage. Anything less than prison time for anyone who participated would diminish the seriousness of a direct assault on American democracy," the editorial board wrote. "Not since the Civil War era has there been such a brazen assault on the legitimacy of the U.S. government and democracy itself."

The newspaper had harsh words for the first defendant to be sentenced.

"The 38-year-old Tampa, Florida, crane operator entered the Capitol with the mob and was photographed waving a red 'Trump' flag in the well of the Senate. It was nothing less than the desecration of a sacred spot in America's seat of government in a bid to overturn a free and fair election," the newspaper charged.

The newspaper described the insurrection as "an act of domestic terrorism aimed at undermining trust in the vote, a bedrock of America's constitutional system of government."