Another man with links to Donald Trump’s long-time ally Roger Stone was arrested in connection with the storming of the US Capitol. According to the FBI’s affidavit used for the detention, Joshua James, 33, was arrested at his home in Alabama on Tuesday after he was identified in photos showing him standing inside the Capitol building wearing a black cap with the words "Oath Keepers" on it, a badge, and a paracord rope.
Several days prior to the storming of the Capitol, he was seen with Roger Stone. James faces a felony charge of obstruction of Congress and misdemeanour charges.
NEWS: Prosecutors have charged a *second* Oath Keeper associated with Roger Stone for a role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Joshua James was one of the militia members IDed by the Times as a Stone security guard on Jan. 5-6. https://t.co/BOr164cGKB pic.twitter.com/0751JzRxJr— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 9, 2021
The news comes a day after prosecutors revealed they had charged a member of the Oath Keepers who had also worked as a security guard for Roger Stone. In all, a group of eight Oath Keepers has been charged with conspiracy to storm the Capitol building in order to disrupt the meeting dedicated to certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Among the arrested is the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, who, according to court documents, gave directions to members of the group during the storming.
Why is This Important?
Investigators have been probing the link between those who forced their way into the building and allies of Donald Trump, who supported the ex-president’s claim about the presidential election being stolen. In particular, investigators are looking at whether supporters of Trump like Roger Stone might have influenced the Capitol protesters.
Months before the election, Stone, who worked for Trump as a campaign adviser, called on the Republican president to impose martial law if he loses presidential vote. He also suggested that Trump should jail high-profile figures such as former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary as well as Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
After the storming of the Capitol, Stone distanced himself from Trump. He said he had been invited to lead the march on Congress, but "declined".
"I have specifically denounced the violence at the Capitol, the intrusion in the Capitol. That’s not how we settle things in America", Stone said.
His lawyer also insists that Stone did nothing wrong.
"There is no evidence whatsoever that Roger Stone was involved in any way, or had advance knowledge about the shocking attack. [Any] implication to the contrary using 'guilt by association' is both dishonest and inaccurate", Grant Smith said.
What Happened on 6 January?
On that day, members of Congress were convening to certify the results of the election, which Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden. However, the incumbent Republican president refused to concede defeat. He claimed that the vote had been rigged and that Biden won thanks to widespread voter irregularities, a claim that his allies and supporters strongly backed. While lawmakers were gathered in the Capitol, Trump held a rally that was attended by thousands of his supporters.
Addressing the crowd, Trump and other speakers at the rally reiterated claims about the election being stolen. Trump also called on his audience to “march” on Congress.
"You are the people that built this nation. You have to get your people to fight", the president told his supporters.
During the rally hundreds of supporters headed to the Capitol, with a large group people storming into the building. Five protesters and a policeman were killed and more than a hundred law enforcement officers were injured as Trump supporters breached the building.
Following the incident, the Democrats accused Trump of inciting an "insurrection" and introduced an impeachment article against him. The Republican POTUS became the first US president to be impeached twice.
The four-day trial ended with lawmakers acquitting Trump.