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Alleged Oath Keeper charged in Capitol riot chauffeured Roger Stone, FBI agent says

An alleged Oath Keeper charged in the Capitol riot was a driver for Roger Stone as part of his security detail at an event one day before the attack, an FBI agent testified Thursday.

The FBI agent said at a federal court hearing that he reviewed video of Joshua James and other members of the right-wing extremist group providing security to Stone, a close ally of former President Donald Trump. James’ ties to Stone were previously known, but the details came up at a hearing on Thursday.

Judge Gray Borden of the Northern District of Alabama ruled that James should stay in jail before his trial in Washington, DC. The judge also ordered James to be transferred to Washington.

James was arrested earlier this week and charged with entering a restricted building and obstructing congressional proceedings. He is one of approximately a dozen Oath Keepers charged in the Capitol insurrection, including some that are accused of planning the attack before traveling to Washington.

His lawyers argued on Thursday that he is not guilty of these crimes.

Stone has denied having advance knowledge of any planned violence or plans to breach the Capitol complex. He has previously said he accepted security from the Oath Keepers because of death threats.

The Justice Department has zeroed in on extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers and the right-wing Proud Boys, as it hunts down the people that participated in the January 6 insurrection.

The FBI agent who testified at Thursday’s hearing said several firearms were found during a search warrant executed at James’ home. All of the firearms were legal, and none were confiscated. They included a shotgun, a hunting rifle, a few “AR-15 style rifles,” and two pistols, the agent said.

James was paid $1,500 for security at two events, including a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, according from testimony from his wife, Audrey James. Stone and other pro-Trump figures held several events in Washington in addition to the official rally that Trump spoke at shortly before the attack.

Audrey James said she was sent “around $1,500 total” directly from the Oath Keepers over a mobile app. She stated the funds were paid out over a couple of months to assist her and her children during Joshua James’ absence to Texas and Washington, DC, while he was providing security. She said she didn’t know where the money originated from.

During the hearing, Audrey James held up a framed Purple Heart award belonging to her husband and took it to the stand with her while she testified. Joshua James served in the Army from 2006 to 2008 and deployed to Iraq, according to Pentagon records.

She spoke about James’ first meeting with the Oath Keepers militia — when he helped provide supplies and clean up debris after a storm in the Florida Keys. Since then, she had not heard anything about the Oath Keepers until recently, she said.

Joshua James appeared in a black and white jail uniform, cuffed at the ankle with a face mask pulled down over his mouth.

Judge Borden cited James’ history of mental illness when explaining why he should remain in jail before trial. Borden noted that James has PTSD, anxiety and depression, and has refused to take medication since 2017. That fact, coupled with James’ access to firearms, was “concerning” to the judge.

This story has been updated with additional information from the hearing.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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