InfoWars host Owen Shroyer is reportedly in custody and faces charges for his actions on Jan. 6, when he amped up the crowd outside of the Capitol alongside InfoWars founder Alex Jones.
Shroyer didn’t enter the building. Rather, he’s charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority” and “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”
In other words: He led a crowd, along with Jones, onto the Capitol grounds, according to an FBI agent’s statement of facts in the case.
“Shroyer marched to the U.S. Capitol from the Ellipse shortly before the U.S. Capitol was breached,” the agent said, citing video from that day.
“One video depicted Shroyer, marching with other individuals, leading a crowd of people in a ‘1776!’ chant as the host of the Infowars show on which the video was streamed stated, ‘Alex Jones at this moment is leading the march toward the Capitol building,'” the agent stated. “In the same video, Shroyer can be heard telling the crowd, ‘today we march for the Capitol because on this historic January 6, 2021, we have to let our congressmen and women know, and we have to let Mike Pence know, they stole the election, we know they stole it, and we aren’t going to accept it!'”
The InfoWars host didn’t try to hide his activity. In fact, the feds cited InfoWars’ own videos to justify the charges.
The Associated Press first reported that Shroyer was in custody, citing unnamed officials, followed by Salon. The right-wing personality said Friday, after the charges were filed, that he was innocent and that he would have to turn himself in on Monday.
Hours after he was charged, Infowars host Owen Shroyer blamed the FBI, Capitol Police, and Nancy Pelosi for January 6: “Folks, devil worshipping cults run the planet, OK? It's time to just get real about this.” https://t.co/0Or3RnCoGX pic.twitter.com/FYXWbikc1W
— Media Matters (@mmfa) August 20, 2021
Shroyer, a Jones protégé of sorts, is known for his stunts, like unfurling a “Trump Won” banner at a Texas Rangers game, and delivering megaphone speeches — including during a multi-state caravan to the November Trump rally in D.C. — from an InfoWars-branded armored vehicle.
What sets Shroyer apart from the hundreds of others on the Capitol steps that day, aside from his celebrity, appears to be a previous outburst he had during the first impeachment proceedings against then-President Donald Trump in December 2019.
“Trump is innocent!” We have our first protester pic.twitter.com/yJXvcwxzB7
— Tierney Sneed (@Tierney_Megan) December 9, 2019
After that protest, according to the affidavit against him, Shroyer was charged in D.C. court with disorderly and disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds and obstructing and impeding passage on Capitol grounds.
As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, Shroyer agreed not to pull any similar stunts again, according to the affidavit: No “loud threatening, or abusive language” on Capitol grounds, nor any “disorderly or disruptive conduct” with intent to disrupt Congress.
And yet Shroyer seems to have done just that, helping push InfoWars’ advertising campaign for Jan. 6 and speaking in D.C. on Jan. 5 and 6.
“After Shroyer arrived at the Capitol grounds, he entered the restricted area,” the FBI affidavit alleged, adding that footage showed Shroyer “standing above the crowd on the west side of the Capitol next to the inauguration stage,” and, later, at the top of the stairs on the east side of the Capitol.
Shroyer doesn’t have an attorney listed in his court file yet, but if his announcement Friday is any indication, he’ll likely plead not guilty to the charges against him.
A GoFundMe page for Shroyer’s legal defense racked up a few thousand dollars before being removed by the site. A fundraiser for Shroyer on GiveSendGo, a more permissive crowdfunding site, had surpassed $185,000 at press time.