Capitol Riot Charges Against an Infowars Host Could Spell Trouble for Alex Jones
Alex Jones is pictured in court documents charging Infowars host Owen Shroyer with entering a restricted area of the Capitol grounds.Jon Elswick/AP
Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.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.