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'Lifetime' Oath Keepers member first to plead guilty in Jan. 6 Capitol attack

By
Don Johnson
Rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump destroy video gear at the U.S. Capitol as hundreds of others breach the security perimeter at the building on January 6 to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump destroy video gear at the U.S. Capitol as hundreds of others breach the security perimeter at the building on January 6 to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

April 16 (UPI) -- Jon Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers, will be the first Capitol rioter to plead guilty to charges for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.

Schaffer, who was seen on camera spraying chemical bear spray at officers, is expected to cooperate with the government's investigation.

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Schaffer's decision to plead guilty was revealed Friday morning at a proceeding before Judge Amit Mehta in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Mehta said the deal included a cooperation agreement.

A resident of Indiana, Schaffer will admit that he unlawfully entered the Capitol building and obstructed Congress' effort to certify the 2020 election results, the documents show.

RELATED Capitol Police IG says dept. needs reform, culture change after Jan. 6 attack

The guilty plea is the first won by the federal government in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Schaffer, 53, wore a cap during the Capitol attack that identified himself as a "lifetime" Oath Keepers member. He is also a guitarist in a metal band called Iced Earth.

Federal authorities say far-right groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys played key roles in organizing the attack, which was carried out by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and intended to interrupt a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's election win.

RELATED Capitol Police officer not charged in fatal shooting of rioter

The attack directly killed five people, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Thursday, Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton testified in the House that the department was unprepared for the attack, despite advance warning, and called for operational and culture change within the Capitol Police force.

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