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Metal Crimes

ICED EARTH's Jon Schaffer Says He "Used Bad Judgment," Wants "Do-Over" For Capitol Riot Involvement

Schaffer's attorneys offered the Iced Earth's first public statements on his involvement in the January 6th riots.

Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer in 2014 photo: Stephanie Cabral

Yesterday, we reported that a federal judge ruled that Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer will remain in jail until the beginning of his trial, where he's being charged with eight counts stemming from his involvement in the Capitol riots on January 6th. During the hearing, Schaffer offered his first public comments on the matter through his attorneys.

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According to WUSA9 Indianapolis, Schaffer's attorney claimed that his comments were taken out of context. We're assuming the comments in question are the ones Schaffer willingly gave to a reporter at a previous march he attended. We'll post those comments below.

The main highlight was Schaffer's attorneys saying that Schaffer knows he used bad judgement on January 6th and wishes he had a "do-over." The attorneys tried to argue that the just turned 52-year-old guitarist was of no danger to the community and has no prior record.

While the judge agreed that Schaffer wasn't a flight risk, he disagreed that Schaffer didn't pose a danger to the community so Schaffer will be held without bond.

The FBI has charged Schaffer with six different charges, one of which accuses him of spraying Capitol police with bear spray, a more potent form of pepper spray. Schaffer is not guaranteed bail, and must prove that he is not a threat to himself or the public to be granted so. Schaffer is dealing with the following charges:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
  • Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
  • Knowingly Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
  • Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
  • Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
  • Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building

Schaffer was wearing an Oath Keepers hat during the raid as is believed to be a member of the group. Nine leaders of the group have been charged with organizing the riots. The Indiana chapter of the Oath Keepers distanced themselves from Schaffer, without directly naming him, saying he was never a member of their chapter.

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As for Schaffer's comments that were taken out of context, the attorneys are likely referring to the below video where Schaffer was interviewed by German newspaper Die Welt from a November Trump rally. The video captures Schaffer wearing the same 1776 hoodie he was photographed in during the Capitol riots, and features him wearing a vest with a black and white photo of Trump photoshopped on the Terminator 2 bicycle, with a shotgun and the phrase "Drain the Swamp" on it.

The video begins with Schaffer openly identifying himself. “My name is Jon Schaffer. I’m from Indiana. A group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago. Now they’re making their big move, and it’s not gonna happen. And that’s what it is. These are globalists. These are the scum of the earth. These are the criminals that are behind all the fraudulent fee on currency, they’re behind all the wars, they’re behind all the shit, they’re behind divide-and-conquer tactics, behind the racial divide. It’s all nonsense, it’s all garbage. People need to wake up and snap out of the matrix, because they’re going down. They’ve made the move. They’re messing with the wrong people here — trust me on that. And we needed it to be open like this — open fraud, open theft. Because now we see you, and you’re going down. Mark my words.”

Asked if there would be violence, Schaffer responded “If somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it. We don’t want that, but if they bring it, we’re gonna respond to that — trust me.”

After defending Trump as a populist who is not establishment, Schaffer goes on to promise "bloodshed" if the "criminal mafia" "running the world" doesn't step aside, saying “I think this goes beyond President Trump. President Trump is a populist. He’s not your typical Republican. He’s not establishment. He’s not going out starting wars all over the place, like they do. Which is funny — where are all the Democrats that were anti-war? There’s so much hatred for Trump, it’s just ridiculous. He’s dealing with a criminal mafia that has been in the shadows running the world, frankly, for a very long time.

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He continued "They wanna destroy all of our sovereignty and bring about global government. We’re not having it. We can still do business together, the countries can still be at peace, but we’re not gonna merge into some globalist, communist system. It will not happen. There will be a lot of bloodshed, if it comes down to that — trust me. The American people will not go for that bullshit — once they understand what’s actually happening. So, that’s where we’re at. Nobody wants this, but they’re pushing us to a point where we have no choice.”

Multiple members of Iced Earth have since quit the band. This follows Hansi Kürsch's departure from Demons & Wizards as well.

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