U.S. charges another Oath Keepers associate in Capitol riot probe

FILE PHOTO: Newly-installed razor wire tops the unscalable fence surrounding the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the January 6th riot and ahead of the upcoming inauguration in Washington, U.S. January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department this week charged another associate of the anti-government Oath Keepers militia over his alleged role in storming the U.S. Capitol.

Joshua A. James, 33, of Arab, Alabama, is at least the 11th person associated with the far-right militia to face charges in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 siege.

Nine of the group’s alleged associates are charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring to storm the Capitol as far back as November.

James is at least the second Oath Keepers associate who was captured in photographs providing security for Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime friend and ally, who spoke at political rallies leading up to the attack.

Earlier this week, Roberto Minuta, 36, was also identified as providing security to Stone before he allegedly stormed the Capitol. He is also facing criminal charges.

The photographs of Stone’s Oath Keepers security detail were published in the New York Times last month, and the article is referenced in the charging documents for both Minuta and James.

Stone, in a statement earlier this week, denied knowing Minuta, and said he had no advanced knowledge the Capitol would be attacked.

According to the charging documents, James was captured in photographs on Jan. 6 wearing tactical gear with Oath Keepers insignia.

“Publicly-available video also captured James inside the Capitol building,” the complaint says.

James is due to appear in a federal court in Alabama on Thursday for a detention hearing. His public defender declined to comment.

More than 300 people have been charged so far in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the FBI has been increasingly focused on suspects with ties to right-wing extremist groups.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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