Member of Oath Keepers to plead guilty to role in US Capitol attack

Published on Jun 23, 2021 10:47 PM IST

More than 480 people have been arrested and charged with taking part in the unrest, which saw rioters smash windows, battle police inside and outside the Capitol and sent lawmakers into hiding.

The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers make up a fraction of Trump supporters charged so far in the US Capitol siege.(AP)
The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers make up a fraction of Trump supporters charged so far in the US Capitol siege.(AP)
Reuters | , Washington

An alleged member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia is due to plead guilty on Wednesday to charges related to the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol by then-President Donald Trump's supporters.

The man, Graydon Young, is one of 14 members of the Oath Keepers group charged with crimes including conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding for taking part in the assault on Congress, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

A court filing said a "plea agreement hearing" is scheduled for Wednesday, but did not specify what charges to which the 54-year-old resident of Engelwood, Florida, will plead. Young is the brother of Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville, North Carolina, who also faces charges in the case.

More than 480 people have been arrested and charged with taking part in the unrest, which saw rioters smash windows, battle police inside and outside the Capitol and sent lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence into hiding.

The riot followed a fiery speech in which Trump repeated his false claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud and disrupted the formal count by Congress of electoral votes in the race.

Federal prosecutors said in court papers that on Dec. 3, Young emailed a membership application to the Oath Keepers' Florida chapter saying he was "looking to get involved in helping."

Then, on Dec. 22, the indictment says, Young made plans to fly from Florida to North Carolina on Jan. 4, with a return trip on Jan. 8. On Dec. 26, prosecutors said, he wrote to a Florida company engaged in firearms and combat training: "I have joined Oath Keepers. I recommended your training to the team. To that effect, four of us would like to train with you."

The indictment says Young and eight other indicted Oath Keepers, as well as others "known and unknown," pushed their way in a "stack" up the steps on the east side of the Capitol building.

His plea hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) on Wednesday.

As described by federal investigators, the Oath Keepers are a loosely organized group of activists who believe that the federal government is encroaching on their rights, who "explicitly focus" on recruiting current and former police, emergency services and military members.

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