Far-right Oath Keepers member is first suspect to plead responsible in US Capitol riot | US Capitol breach

A member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and heavy steel guitarist has develop into the primary defendant to plead responsible to federal prices in reference to the riot on the US Capitol.

Jon Ryan Schaffer, the frontman of the band Iced Earth, has agreed on Friday to cooperate with investigators in hopes of getting a lighter sentence, and the Justice Division will contemplate placing Schaffer within the federal witness safety program, a US district choose stated.

This alerts that federal prosecutors see him as a worthwhile cooperator as they proceed to research militia teams and different extremists concerned within the riot on 6 January as Congress was assembly to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Schaffer, a supporter of Donald Trump, was accused of storming the Capitol and spraying cops with bear spray. He pleaded responsible in a take care of prosecutors in federal courtroom in Washington to 2 counts: obstruction of an official continuing, and coming into and remaining in a restricted constructing with a harmful or lethal weapon.

An e mail looking for remark was despatched to an lawyer for Schaffer.

Schaffer, of Columbus, Indiana, was sporting a tactical vest and baseball hat that learn Oath Keepers Lifetime Member on 6 January and acknowledged in his plea settlement that he’s a “founding lifetime member” of the extremist group, prosecutors stated.

The 53-year-old was not charged within the case involving Oath Keepers members and associates, who’re accused of conspiring with each other to dam the certification of the vote. The case is the biggest and most critical introduced by prosecutors to this point within the assault.

Authorities say these defendants got here to Washington prepared for violence and intent on stopping the certification. Many got here dressed for battle in tactical vests and helmets and a few mentioned stationing a “fast response pressure” exterior the town within the occasion they wanted weapons, prosecutors have stated.

In his take care of prosecutors, Schaffer admitted to being one of many first folks to pressure their manner into the Capitol after the mob broke open a set of doorways guarded by Capitol police. Schaffer was sprayed within the face with a chemical irritant that overwhelmed officers deployed and left the Capitol whereas holding bear spray, authorities stated.

Schaffer has voiced varied conspiracy theories, as soon as telling a German information station {that a} shadowy legal enterprise is attempting to run the world underneath a communist agenda and that he and others are ready to battle, with violence.

In courtroom paperwork, the FBI stated Schaffer “has lengthy held far-right extremist views” and that he had beforehand “referred to the federal authorities as a ‘legal enterprise’”.

He turned himself in to the FBI just a few weeks after the riot, after his {photograph} was featured on an FBI poster looking for the general public’s assist in figuring out rioters.

Greater than 370 persons are dealing with federal prices within the lethal riot.

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