A Birmingham man, who is a member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, was part of the latest arrests in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach and failed insurrection.
Jonathan Walden, 46, was one of four people arrested on Thursday — and 16 total indictments in the Oath Keepers conspiracy case — for forcibly entering the Capitol Building with the intent to stop lawmakers from certifying the Electoral College results. Also arrested on Thursday were: Joseph Hackett, 50, of Sarasota, Florida; Jason Dolan, 44, of Wellington, Florida, and William Isaacs, 21, of Kissimmee, Florida.
Walden, Hackett, Dolan and Isaacs are each charged with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and entering and remaining on restricted grounds.
“On the afternoon of Jan. 6, Walden and others rode in a pair of golf carts toward the Capitol, at times swerving around law enforcement vehicles,” a press release from the Department of Justice reads. “After they arrived at 2:33 p.m., Walden and others aggressively berated and taunted law enforcement officers in riot gear guarding the perimeter of the building.”
Another Alabama man, Joshua James, a military veteran and another member of the Oath Keepers, was previously arrested for his role in the Capitol breach. Court documents indicate that Walden was in contact with James and offered to join the group for the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“Sometime before Jan. 5, Walden sent a message to co-defendant Joshua James expressing his interest in joining the quick reaction force team,” the DOJ release reads. “His message to James reads, ‘I am interested in the QRF team in D.C. I am a former Firefighter, EMT-B and have a K-9 trained for security patrol (82 ib. German Shepherd named ‘Warrior’) I have a Jump Bag with Trauma supplies and have ALL the necessary 2A gear that the situation may require. PLEASE ADVISE. As soon as I hear from you I can hit the road and join up! Jonathan Walden,’ followed by a phone number.”
In the first 120 days after Jan. 6, approximately 440 individuals were arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including over 125 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Oath Keepers as one of the nation’s “largest radical anti-government organizations.” It was formed immediately after the election of the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama.