Jon Schaffer, a musician and Oath Keeper, pleads responsible to costs and can help investigators.
A founding member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group on Friday turned the primary particular person to plead responsible to participating within the US Capitol riot, signalling a brand new stage within the investigation of the lethal January 6 assault on the seat of American democracy.
Jon Schaffer, a local of Indiana and founding father of the band Iced Earth, entered a responsible plea to 2 felony costs of obstructing the certification of the 2020 election and breaching a restricted constructing.
Iced Earth’s singer and bassist stop the band in February.
Throughout a listening to in Washington, DC federal court docket, US District Decide Amit Mehta stated Schaffer, 53, had no earlier felony report and voluntarily contacted authorities shortly after the Capitol riot.
The choose indicated that Schaffer was concerned in discussions about cooperating with authorities investigators and agreed to launch him from custody on his personal recognisance, with one other listening to scheduled for mid-June.
Schaffer is amongst tons of of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol in an try and overturn the November election outcomes. Rioters battled with police, smashed home windows and despatched lawmakers fleeing for security.
5 individuals, together with Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, died within the violence.
Prosecutors stated Schaffer wore a tactical vest and carried bear spray repellent when he joined the assault on the Capitol 100 days in the past.
A lawyer for Schaffer agreed at Friday’s listening to that Schaffer entered the Capitol that day as Congress ready to certify the Electoral Faculty vote in favour of Joe Biden.
In a court docket submitting, prosecutors stated Schaffer, who was photographed throughout the Capitol riot carrying a cap with the insignia of the right-wing Oath Keepers, “was among the many rioters who sprayed United States Capitol Cops with ‘bear spray’”.
The Oath Keepers have been linked to others in Trump’s orbit, together with Roger Stone, a longtime supporter and buddy of the previous president.
Prosecutors stated Schaffer was “photographed and captured on surveillance video” carrying the bear spray and in addition was filmed “partaking in verbal altercations with Capitol Cops contained in the Capitol Constructing”.
Greater than 400 individuals have been arrested and charged with participating within the violence. Probably the most severe costs have been assault, conspiracy and obstruction of Congress or legislation enforcement.