POLITICS

Oath Keeper Associate Of Roger Stone Is Arrested On Capitol Riot Charges

The two men were together just hours before prosecutors said Roberto Minuta stormed the Capitol armed with a gun and bear spray.

A member of the extremist Oath Keepers seen hanging out with longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone the day of the U.S. Capitol siege was arrested Monday on charges linked to the riot.

Roberto Minuta, 36, of New Jersey is accused of obstructing the formal counting of presidential election votes, trespassing and attempting to cover up his crimes, according to the criminal complaint against him.

Minuta, who owns a tattoo parlor in New York, traveled to Washington “equipped with military-style attire and gear, including apparel emblazoned with a crest related to the Oath Keepers,” and then stormed the Capitol, states an affidavit in support of the complaint. He was allegedly armed with a gun and bear spray. 

“I think it is not a stretch to think Mr. Minuta, if called upon to do so, would participate in an armed rebellion yet again even on pretrial release,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti argued in court, The Washington Post reported. 

Federal prosecutors have alleged that members of the Oath Keepers conspired to storm the Capitol to prevent the legitimately elected Joe Biden from becoming president.

Minuta, dressed in Oath Keeper garb and wearing a black Oath Keepers cap, was captured on a video (below) posted by ABC News with Stone the morning of the attack as Stone greeted people outside his hotel just blocks from the White House. 

Stone, a felon who was pardoned last year by Trump, was  among a group of incendiary speakers who falsely and repeatedly claimed the presidential election was rigged before the Capitol attack. The role their inciting speech played in the insurrection is being investigated by the FBI. 

Stone was the keynote speaker at a rally the night before the Capitol insurrection, and he appeared on stage with members of the extremist Proud Boys, urging Trump supporters to “fight for America.”

He called the battle against American voters’ choice for president an “epic struggle for the future of this country ... between the godly and the godless.”

Self-described Proud Boys “sergeant at arms” Ethan Nordean — also known as Rufio Panman — appears in a video to have his hand on Stone’s shoulder during part of the speech.

Nordean was later arrested and charged with a series of offenses linked to the storming of the Capitol.

Stone left the day of the riot before the violence at the Capitol but was surrounded by extremists like Minuta, whom he claimed were his bodyguards.  

The New York Times has reported that six men who operated as Stone’s bodyguards later stormed the Capitol. The newspaper marked photos of the unidentified men in various videos, including one of Minuta in the ABC clip outside Stone’s hotel. The federal affidavit against Minuta refers to the Times story.

Stone told ABC News after the video with Minuta was posted that he had “no advance knowledge of the riot at the Capitol.” 

Minuta was ordered released Monday on a $125,000 bond over the objections of federal prosecutors. 

HuffPost

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