Man linked to Oath Keepers admits joining Capitol attack

REUTERS/Jim Bourg

By Mark Hosenball

A fourth person linked to the Oath Keepers militia group pleaded guilty this week to two criminal charges related to his participation in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters.

Caleb Berry, 20, who prosecutors said was in communication with a Florida-based Oath Keepers group, is the fourth person affiliated with the militia to plead guilty to riot charges and the 19th to plead guilty to federal riot-related charges.

More than 535 people have been charged with taking part in the violence, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Trump falsely claims he lost the election because of widespread electoral fraud.

Berry pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstructing an official proceeding at a hearing in federal court in Washington.

On Jan. 6, prosecutors said, Berry and others donned protective vests, helmets and goggles, as well as clothing and patches with the Oath Keepers logo.

At the Capitol, Berry joined other suspected members of the militia who “maneuvered in an organized fashion” up the steps on the building’s east side, with “each member keeping at least one hand on the shoulder of the other in front of them,” prosecutors said.

They assaulted police guarding the building, “threw objects and sprayed chemicals towards the officers” and ultimately forced themselves into the building, said prosecutors.

Also on Tuesday, federal Magistrate G. Michael Harvey ordered pre-trial detention for accused rioter Robert Morss, a former U.S. Army Ranger from Pennsylvania. Harvey said Morss helped to organize a “shield wall” that rioters used to move against Capitol guards assembled from equipment taken from police.

Reuters

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