Capitol Riot Charges Against an “Infowars” Host Could Spell Trouble for Alex Jones

Owen Shroyer is charged with entering a restricted area on January 6. He was with Jones at the time.

Alex Jones is pictured in court documents charging Infowars host Owen Shroyer with entering a restricted area of the Capitol grounds.Jon Elswick/AP

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Watch out, Alex Jones. The Justice Department on Friday evening charged Owen Shroyer, who hosts a show on Infowars, the conspiracy theory fueled website run by Jones, with disorderly conduct and entering a restricted area of Capitol grounds on January 6.

On the air Friday evening, Shoryer said he will turn himself in Monday. “I plan on declaring innocence of these charges because I am,” he said.

More than 600 people have been charged with taking part in the January 6 attack. Shroyer is now one of just a few who did not enter the Capitol building itself. (The charges against Shoryer are misdemeanors.)

A federal complaint against Shroyer says that he entered restricted areas outside—and it notes he was with Jones at the time. The complaint includes images of Shroyer in restricted areas, along with Jones. The images include one picture of Shroyer, near Jones, at the top of the stairs on the east side of the Capitol. This came after the crowd had pushed past police officers guarding the area.

 

Jones, a conspiracy theorist once fined for claiming the 2012 Newtown attack was a hoax, echoed Donald Trump’s false claims about election fraud prior to January. Jones also helped pay for the rally immediately preceding the riot, pledging $50,000 of his own money and arranging for an heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, Julie Jenkins Fancelli, to provide $300,000, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.

The charges against Shroyer do not mean that Jones will necessarily face charges. The complaint against Shroyer notes that he entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department after he was arrested for disrupting a House Judiciary Committee hearing December 2019. Shroyer’s violation of that agreement probably made feds more likely to charge him with his actions on January 6.

Still, the complaint indicates that Jones broke a law that Shroyer is now charged with breaking.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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