Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer + Others Sued By Washington D.C. Attorney General Over U.S. Capitol Attack
The repercussions of Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continue to be felt. The musician is one of more than two dozen members of the the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who are now being sued by Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine over millions spent by the city to defend the attack.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday (Dec. 14) in a Washington D.C. federal court, with 31 people cited, Schaffer included, as being part of extremist groups that were "conspiring to terrorize the District."
Within the complaint, which can be viewed here, Schaffer was described as "a founding, lifetime member of the Oath Keepers," while also acknowledging, "Schaffer was criminally charged and indicted for his role in perpetrating the January 6th Attack. In connection with a promise to cooperate with investigators and potentially testify in criminal cases related to the conspiracy to commit the January 6th Attack, Schaffer pleaded guilty to the entire Statement of Offense in the criminal action brought against him, which included two felony offenses: (1) trespass of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon and (2) obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress."
Racine has cited those named in the lawsuit as launching "a coordinated act of domestic terrorism." According to CNN, he is asking the court to find those named liable for the millions of dollar spent dispatching officers and treating the injured on site, as well as having to pay medical leave all related to the incident.
"No one bore the brunt of this gutless attack more than the courageous law enforcement officers including the men and women of the DC Metropolitan Police Department who went into the fire and violence with one objective in mind: remove the violent mob and restore our country's fragile democracy," Racine said at a news conference Tuesday (Dec. 14).
Three officers from the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police departments died in the days following the attack. More than 140 officers were injured.
"The defendants, as you know, were not tourists, nor were they acting patriotically," Racine said. "They were vigilantes, members of a mob, insurrectionists who sought to crush our country's freedoms."
While Racine filed suit, his is not the first legal action taken against members involved in the storming of the Capitol. Several members of Congress have also filed suit against the organizations. Seven Capitol police officers also have lawsuits currently filed against the organizations as well as former President Trump for conspiring to incite the insurrection.
Word of Schaffer's involvement spread quickly after the storming of the Capitol as his was one of the photos that circulated after the event. The musician was the first Capitol riot defendant to reach a plea deal. Back in April, Schaffer agreed to cooperate with the government after initially being charged with six crimes.
After pleading guilty, he was released with several conditions. As part of his deal, he must submit to court supervision in the Northern District of Indiana, had to surrender his passport and any other international travel documents, was ordered to stay outside of D.C. except for court hearings and meetings with attorneys and cannot possess any firearms or explosive devices, including legally owned firearms. As part of the conditions of the deal, he will be permitted to travel within the continental United States with notice to pretrial services. Also, as part of the agreement, the Justice Department has offered to sponsor Schaffer for the witness protection program.
In the aftermath of Schaffer's arrest, Iced Earth eventually parted ways, with the singer, bassist and guitarist all revealing their plans following the guitarist's initial jailing.
According to CNN, the lawsuit dose not specify the amount of money the city is seeking, but Racine did state that his office will pursue "the maximum financial penalties."