The US arrests another member of the Oath Guard over the unrest in the Capitol
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol is stormed by a pro-Trump mob on Jan 6, 2021
By Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Department of Justice has arrested another suspected member of the anti-government Oath Keepers militia for helping to storm the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
Robert Minuta, 36, a recent Hackettstown, New Jersey-based tattoo artist in Newburgh, New York, “cursed and mocked” the US Capitol Police while dressed in military style, then attacked the Capitol and disrupted Congress while he was confirmed the election victory of President Joe Biden.
The indictment alleges that he later deleted a Facebook (NASDAQ 🙂 account that he had kept for 13 years in order to “hide his involvement in these crimes”.
An FBI spokeswoman said Minuta was taken into custody Saturday.
Minuta is the youngest alleged member of the Oath Guards charged with his role in the Capitol riot that attacked more than 100 police officers, killed one, and suffered millions in damage to the Capitol.
Last month, a grand jury sued nine Oath Keepers employees of conspiracy to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s election victory. Some of them have since pleaded not guilty.
“Minuta stormed the Capitol grounds and was photographed in a crowd of rioters near a Capitol entrance while filming US Capitol police officers with a cell phone,” the loading documents read.
“After all, Minuta illegally violated the Capitol itself.”
Later, when he got out, he was caught on video yelling to the police, “All that’s left is the second change!”
He is accused of obstructing an official process, illegally entering the country and manipulating documents.
Information on who was representing him in the case was not immediately available.
The FBI’s affidavit, which includes several photos of a heavily bearded Minuta in the Capitol, includes a footnote with a link to a story published Feb. 14 by the New York Times about Oath Keepers employees serving the veteran Republican agents and Trump supporter Roger Stone guarded January 5th or 6th, who later entered the US capital during the riots.
The story includes photos of six oath guards who are believed to both guard Stone and participate in the riot at the Capitol, and one of those six appears to resemble Minuta.
In a statement, Stone said that while some oath guards gave him security at several rallies on January 5th, he had no advanced knowledge of the January 6th riot and was in no way involved.
“I don’t know Mr. Minuta, nor was I familiar with his name, until he was identified in previous media reports claiming he was involved in illegal events at the Capitol,” said Stone.
He added that he had publicly denounced the attacks on the Capitol and believed that anyone involved should be prosecuted.