Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer to Be Extradited to Washington, D.C.
Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer, who has been arrested and charged with six federal crimes for participating in this month’s pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will now be extradited from his native state of Indiana to Washington, D.C.
The guitarist, who will turn 53 in March, is currently being held at Marion County Jail after turning himself in to authorities a week ago. Government lawyers requested the judge not offer Schaffer bail due to the nature of his alleged crimes.
Indiana Public Media reports that “the US Attorney and Schaffer’s legal team mutually agreed to handle all proceedings in Washington.”
The Department of Justice’s Statement of Facts regarding Schaffer can be read below.
A recent article in The New York Times says that authorities believe Schaffer to be a member of an organized, far-right militia group known as the Oath Keepers, who planned the invasion of the Capitol building in advance. Founded by military and law enforcement veterans, the Oath Keepers believe that a shadowy globalist cabal is plotting to take away Americans’ rights. Schaffer was wearing an Oath Keepers hat in a widely circulated photo taken inside the Capitol and has expressed similar views in several interviews over the years.
After Schaffer turned himself in, the FBI Indianapolis Field Office indicated he faces 6 charges, including spraying Capitol police with ‘bear spray.’ ”
Schaffer was also charged with “unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds,” which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison that could rise to a maximum of 10 years if injuries or weapons were involved.
The full list of charges is as follows:
- “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority”
- “Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business”
- “Knowingly Engages in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds”
- “Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building”
- “Engage in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building”
- “Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket in a Capitol Building”
When word of his involvement in the Capitol riots spread, his bandmates issued a collective statement distancing themselves from the violence but stopped short of publicly disagreeing with his political views. Vocalist Stu Block indicated he supported the protests until they turned violent, and later deleted comments and banned fans who pointed that out.
A number of folks who donated to the Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming Iced Earth book publicly renounced their fandom and demanded refunds, posting angry comments on the book’s crowdfunding page.
The guitarist has been quite open about his far-right political views for years, openly discussing his mistrust of government (with a special emphasis on the federal reserve), asserting his belief that Trump’s loss in the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election was tipped by illegal immigrants, speaking out in favor of arming teachers to prevent school shootings, and claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax.