Jon Schaffer, musician and oath keeper, pleads guilty to charges and helps investigators.
A founding member of the right Oath keepers The militia on Friday became the first person to plead guilty to participating in the U.S. Capitol Riot, marking another milestone in the investigation into the deadly Jan.6 attack on the seat of U.S. Democracy.
Jon Schaffer, originally from Indiana and founder of the Iced Earth group, has pleaded guilty to two felony charges of obstructing the certification of the 2020 election and violating a restricted building.
The singer and bassist of Iced Earth left the band in February.
In a federal court hearing in Washington, DC, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said Schaffer, 53, had no criminal record and had voluntarily contacted authorities shortly after the Capitol riot.
The judge said Schaffer was involved in talks about cooperation with government investigators and agreed to release him from custody on his own pledge, with another hearing scheduled for mid-June.
Schaffer is one of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the November election results. Rioters fought with police, smashed windows, and sent lawmakers to flee for safety reasons.
Five people, including Capitol Police Agent Brian Sicknick, died in the violence.
Prosecutors said Schaffer was wearing a tactical vest and bear repellant when he joined the attack on Capitol Hill 100 days ago.
An attorney for Schaffer agreed during Friday’s hearing that Schaffer entered Capitol Hill that day as Congress prepared to certify the Electoral College’s vote in favor of Joe Biden.
In a court file, prosecutors said Schaffer, who was pictured during the Capitol riot wearing a cap with the Oath Keepers right wing insignia, “was among the rioters who sprayed US Capitol Police officers with ‘bear spray’.”
The Oath Keepers have been linked to other people in Trump’s orbit, including Roger Stone, a longtime supporter and friend of the former president.
Prosecutors said Schaffer was “photographed and captured on surveillance video” carrying the bear spray and was also filmed “engaging in verbal altercations with Capitol Hill police inside the building. Capitol building “.
More than 400 people have been arrested and charged with participating in the violence. The most serious charges were assault, conspiracy and obstruction of Congress or law enforcement.