Feds: Schaffer remains ‘compliant’ with pre-trial release agreement over Jan. 6 insurrection plea bargain

Copyright, The Republic, Columbus

A local man who pleaded guilty to participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack continues to remain compliant with the terms of his pre-trial release, according to new court filings.

An attorney representing heavy metal guitarist and former Columbus resident Jon Schaffer said in a joint status update filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that Schaffer remains compliant with his plea agreement and is still on release under the supervision of the District of Columbia Pre-Trial Services Department.

The attorney, Andrew C. Marcantel of Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm, stated in the filing that an attorney representing the U.S. government in the criminal case against Schaffer “is in agreement” that the Oath Keeper remains in compliance and continues to cooperate with authorities.

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered the two parties on Tuesday to file another status report by March 27 or “if appropriate, the parties shall suggest a date for sentencing.”

“(Schaffer) has remained compliant with pre-trial release conditions,” the court filing states. “…He has remained cooperative with law enforcement since his release, and his cooperation is ongoing.”

Schaffer, who formerly was a musician in the heavy metal band Ice Earth and member of the Oath Keepers, pleaded guilty in April 2021 to, among other things, breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, armed with bear repellent and obstructing an official proceeding.

Schaffer was one of the first six insurrectionists to push through the damaged doors of the Capitol and was photographed inside wearing a hat that said, “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member,” with bear spray in his hand, according to the lawsuit.

As part of his guilty plea in his criminal case, Schaffer acknowledged that he is “a founding, lifetime member of the Oath Keepers” and believes that “the federal government has been ‘co-opted’ by a cabal of elites actively trying to strip American citizens of their rights.”

The Oath Keepers is a militia group that recruits current and former military, police and first responders.

Schaffer’s attorney claims in the joint status update that the Oath Keeper’s cooperation with federal authorities has involved “the largest conspiracy arising out of the (Jan. 6 insurrection) that has been indicted to date.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.