Lifetime Oath Keepers Member Providing Info To Feds In Jan 6 Case


Jon Schaffer — who was said in a Justice Department press release last year to have “acknowledged he is a founding lifetime member of the Oath Keepers” — is continuing his cooperation with federal prosecutors after previously pleading guilty to felony offenses including obstruction of an official proceeding in relation to his participation in the Capitol riot. A brief status report that was filed late last week with the federal court system for Washington, D.C., stated that the “government reports that Defendant Jon Schaffer continues to cooperate with the government.” Prosecutors asked for a May deadline for the filing of another status report in his case, suggesting that there’s still considerable ground to be covered amid Schaffer’s cooperation.

Since Schaffer’s original guilty plea and agreement to cooperate, federal authorities have filed seditious conspiracy charges against nearly a dozen individuals tied to his organization, including its founder and leader, Stewart Rhodes. Last week, federal Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Rhodes was to remain in custody ahead of his trial, finding that he could pose a danger to the community if allowed out. Ahead of last year’s attack on the Capitol, in which numerous Oath Keepers-tied individuals were involved, Rhodes prepared for violence, including by purchasing substantial amounts of weaponry, some of which went in support of a weapons stash that was set up in the vicinity of D.C. around the time of the riot. The weapons there were meant for the potential usage of people in D.C., with Oath Keepers preparing for a believed possibility of Trump invoking a federal law known as the Insurrection Act, which allows presidents to call up militias.

The charges to which Schaffer originally pleaded guilty come with a combined potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison, although it should apparently be expected that he’ll end up with a sentence substantially lower than that level. It’s not immediately clear what information that Schaffer may have shared with investigators since pleading guilty, although it certainly appears as though his interactions with prosecutors haven’t exactly fallen apart, since the cooperation is continuing. At this point, there’s yet to be a single trial for someone charged for participating in the riot — those who’ve been already sentenced pleaded guilty — but the first riot trial is scheduled to begin this month in the case of Guy Reffitt, a Texas resident who carried a handgun while at the Capitol and later threatened members of his family in an attempt to keep them quiet about his involvement. He told his kids that they’d constitute traitors if they provided info to authorities, adding that they “know what happens to traitors… traitors get shot.”