Anti-Vax Doctor Simone Gold Pleads Guilty to Role in Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

Simone Gold, a doctor who founded America's Frontline Doctors, a group criticized for spreading misinformation including the promotion of hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic, has pleaded guilty to her role in the January 6 Capitol riot, which involved entering the building with other rioters.

The vocal anti-vaccine Gold pleaded guilty during a remote hearing Thursday, and her plea deal includes an agreement to cooperate with other investigations into January 6, according to NBC News.

The Justice Department case description for Gold states that she pleaded not guilty on all counts in February 2021 prior to pleading guilty Thursday. Her plea deal includes a guilty plea to entering or remaining inside a restricted building, which could carry prison time, and an agreement to pay a fine for her other charges including disorderly conduct, demonstrating inside the Capitol and obstruction of a government proceeding.

The plea's sentencing guidelines estimate a sentence of up to six months for Gold, along with a fine of $500 to $9,500, court records state. She also agreed to pay $500 in restitution toward the nearly $1.5 million in damage estimated to have been caused to the Capitol. Gold signed the agreement on February 8, and it was filed and accepted by a judge Thursday.

In the days following the riot, Gold told The Washington Post that she was in the Capitol, was unaware that she was breaking the law and that she did not witness any violence while she was inside.

"I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot," she told the Post. "Where I was, was incredibly peaceful."

She said she was at the Capitol to attend a "Rally for Health Freedom" the same day alongside John Strand, the communications director for America's Frontline Doctors who was indicted by federal authorities along with Gold. She also told the Post that she regretted being in the Capitol and said she was afraid the public attention on the riot would "take away" from attention on her advocacy efforts.

The Justice Department indicted Strand and Gold with several photos and videos as evidence, along with tips and other social media posts alleging that the pair were in the building and The Washington Post article in which Gold admitted to being at the rally and inside the Capitol. She told the Post at the time that she had not yet been contacted by law enforcement about her involvement.

Gold was active on social media as recently as yesterday, praising Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for a video many criticized him for in which he chastises college students for wearing masks before he gives a speech, calling it "COVID theater."

NBC News reported that Gold is set to face sentencing in June.

Update 3/3/22 1:12 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional context and information.

January 6 Capitol Simone Gold Guilty Plea
Dr. Simone Gold, an anti-vaccination doctor who has been criticized for spreading COVID misinformation, pleaded guilty Thursday to her involvement in the January 6 riot. Above, a large group of pro-Trump protesters stands on the steps of the U.S. Capitol after storming its grounds on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Jon Cherry/Getty Images