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Jon Schaffer Allegedly Pictured At U.S. Capitol RiotMetropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia

Report: Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer Nearing Possible Cooperation Deal For Involvement In U.S. Capitol Riot


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Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer is said to be in the “advanced plea negotiations” according to a newly published report from Buzzfeed News. Schaffer currently faces six charges for his alleged participation in the U.S. Capitol Building riots that took place on January 06th, 2021.

The aforementioned publication report that a filing accidentally made public earlier today, April 05th, mentioned that Schaffer may be cooperating with the authorities in exchange for the deal. Buzzfeed News report that Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed Baset was quoted as having stated that cooperation from Schaffer “may reveal the existence, scope, and direction of the ongoing and confidential investigation” in a since-deleted section of the document. It was not made clear as to what information Schaffer may potentially be sharing with investigators.

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Buzzfeed also state that they saw court documents which reveal Schaffer has partaken in a “series of debrief interviews” since early March and as of yesterday, April 04th, ‘indicated in general terms that they were discussing a plea deal.’ Baset was quoted as saying, “Based on these debrief interviews, the parties are currently engaged in good-faith plea negotiations, including discussions about the possibility of entering into a cooperation plea agreement aimed at resolving the matter short of indictment.”

Baset also noted that the recent extension granted to Schaffer‘s case, which he has yet to be indicted for, is in part a result of the ongoing negotiations for the plea deal. The news follows Schaffer and his legal team recently temporary withdrawal of their motion to have the charges against him dismissed.

Schaffer‘s legal team had previously been seeking to have the charges against him dropped on basis that the U.S. Department Of Justice had not upheld the terms set forth by The Speedy Trial Act. That act establishes that an individual must be indicted or information must be filed within 30 days of the person’s arrest.

In light of these recent developments, tomorrow’s (April 05th) hearing on whether or not Schaffer should remain in custody has now been delayed until April 21st. Statements Schaffer made at a prior MAGA rally in November of last year were previously cited as concern for him being a potential threat, having seen him denied bond thus far.

It is unclear if the impact of this accidental filing will alter Schaffer‘s potential deal. Since the docket erroneously showed up to the public at large, several other news organizations, including Politico and WUSA9 have published stories on the matter. Furthermore, Baset is said to have wrote in the since-deleted section of the filing:

“If alerted to this information, investigation targets against whom the defendant may be providing information about could be immediately prompted to flee from prosecution, destroy or conceal incriminating evidence, alter their operational tactics to avoid future detection, attempt to influence or intimidate potential witnesses, and otherwise take steps to undermine the investigation and avoid future prosecution. Accordingly, these facts present an extraordinary situation and a compelling governmental interest which justify sealing of this filing pertaining to this investigation that is being submitted at this time.”

Schaffer has been in custody since turning himself into the authorities on January 17th. He is alleged to have used bear spray on U.S. Capitol Police Officers after having breached the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06th. He currently faces the following charges:

  • 1) Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
  • 2) Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
  • 3) Knowingly Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
  • 4) Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
  • 5) Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
  • 6) Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building

Schaffer was photographed and filmed wearing a hat for the far-right militia group Oath Keepers during his participation in the riots. A dozen members of that organization are currently facing charges for their role in the riots. Despite his choice of attire, the Indiana chapter of the Oath Keepers previously stated that Schaffer is not a member.

You can find the U.S. Justice Department’s ‘Statement Of Facts’ about Schaffer‘s case here. Video footage of what appears to be Schaffer among those to have breached the building can be seen here.

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