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Alabama man charged with conspiracy in U.S. Capitol attack

Joshua James, of Arab, is charged with conspiring to stop Congress from counting Electoral College votes.

Joshua James inside U.S. Capitol during attack.

An Alabama man and member of the right-wing militia group the Oath Keepers, who is alleged to have guarded former President Donald Trump’s close ally Roger Stone and who allegedly broke into the U.S. Capitol, has been charged with conspiracy, along with another Oath Keeper. 

Joshua James, 33, of Arab, and Roberto Minuta, 36, of Texas, are charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring with 10 others to “stop, delay and hinder Congress’s certification of the Electoral College votes,” according to the indictment. 

James was arrested March 9 in Arab, according to his arrest warrant. The criminal complaint against Jones lists his charges as obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and entering a restricted building or grounds.  

Photos taken on Jan. 5, the day before the Capitol siege, and published by ABC News, appear to show a man standing next to Roger Stone wearing the same black hat with an Oath Keepers badge and an orange paracord on his shoulder, as detailed in an affidavit filed in Jones’s case that Jones was wearing in separate photos and video taken of him inside the Capitol during the attack. 

In the affidavit, the FBI investigator writes that James was in Washington D.C. on Jan. 5. 

 “That day, James and others similarly dressed with Oath Keeper and tactical gear served as a security detail for a speaker at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rallies and events,” the affidavit reads. It does not mention Stone by name, however. 

“On January 6, 2021, James and a number of the same Oath Keepers he was with on January 5 — all clad in much of the same tactical and Oath Keeper gear they had donned the day prior — are seen in photographs and videos walking together throughout Washington D.C., and eventually toward the Capitol building,” the affidavit continues. 

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After entering the Capitol grounds, James stood alongside other Oath Keepers, one of whom “aggressively berated and taunted U.S. Capitol police officers responsible for protecting the Capitol and the representatives inside,” according to the court records.

“James then stormed the U.S. Capitol and obstructed Congressional proceedings with other rioters on January 6, 2021,” the FBI investigator continues. “Soon afterward, video and photographs show James gathered together with a number of other Oath Keepers who had also stormed the Capitol, all standing within 100 feet of the building.”

James, owner of American Pro Hydro Services LLC in Arab, was in phone contact with an unnamed person identified in court records as “Person Five” throughout November and December, according to the affidavit, and specifically on Nov. 14, 2020, when Oath Keepers attended rallies in Washington D.C. that day “at which some Oath Keepers, to include Person Five, operated as a personal security detail for one or more speakers at the events.” 

More calls between James and Person Five took place between Nov. 20 and Dec. 11, according to court records. The superseding indictment details constant communication between the conspirators before and during the attack.  

The affidavit goes on to detail images taken of James at the rally prior to the attack, and images of James inside the Capitol, wearing the same orange paracord on his shoulder. 

James and Minuta drove to the Capitol after it had been breached with others in two golf carts, according to the indictment, at times swerving around police cars, with Minutia stating “Patriots are storming the Capitol…so we’re en route in a grand theft auto golf cart to the Capitol building right now…it’s going down guys; it’s literally going down right now Patriots storming the Capitol building.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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