“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,” Shroyer told them, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Thursday. “We know they stole it, and we aren’t going to accept it!”
After they arrived, Shroyer called into a live broadcast on the right-wing Infowars website, telling listeners the pro-Trump protesters had taken the Capitol grounds, FBI agent Clarke Burns wrote in an affidavit. Shroyer reported that members of the group had surrounded and climbed onto the actual Capitol building, the document states.
“We literally own these streets right now,” Shroyer said in the video, according to court records.
Shroyer, who lives in Texas, was charged on Thursday with two federal crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 riot: illegally entering a restricted area on Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct. In a video posted to the Infowars website, Shroyer said he plans to turn himself in on Monday morning. Shroyer could not be reached for comment early Monday, and no lawyer was listed for him in federal court documents.
Shroyer has publicly denied any wrongdoing. In a video posted Sunday to the Infowars website, the host said he and his crew never entered the Capitol and did not go around or jump any barricades as they walked the grounds. And, Shroyer added, no police officers or other authorities tried to stop them.
“I am an innocent man,” Shroyer said in the video, describing the case against him as “ludicrous” and “beyond weak.” “The claims that they’re making are just completely untrue.”
To date, almost 600 people have been charged with federal crimes in the deadly attack on the Capitol that interrupted the congressional certification of President Biden’s victory, the Associated Press reports. Nearly 40 have pleaded guilty.
In a separate, undated video posted to Infowars, Shroyer described himself and the others charged in the riot as “political prisoners,” adding that Trump supporters did not coordinate the storming of the Capitol.
If anyone conspired to breach the building, it was “the feds,” Shroyer said, calling the narrative that pro-Trump supporters committed an insurrection “The Big Lie.” The phrase is a riff on the one some Democrats and Trump supporters use to describe the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
Shroyer said the federal government and Democrats were politically persecuting him. A description accompanying the video reads, “The Deep State FBI continues to wage political witch hunt against conservative media figures.”
Shroyer, who hosts the Infowars show “The War Room with Owen Shroyer,” said he was at the Capitol to cover the demonstration as a journalist. He also said he sought to influence the certification of Biden’s election victory, not by physically disrupting members of Congress, but by expressing himself to lawmakers.
“We were there because we wanted to have a peaceful demonstration that we thought could change America for the better,” Shroyer said.
In fact, Shroyer said, he and others from Infowars — including founder Alex Jones — tried to convince people not to storm the Capitol. “We tried to stop the madness,” he said in the undated video.
The day before the riot, however, Shroyer was filmed giving a speech in Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, in a clip that was then posted to Infowars, the FBI said.
“Americans are ready to fight,” he told the crowd, according to court documents. “We’re not exactly sure what that’s going to look like … if we can’t stop this certification of the fraudulent election … we are the new revolution! We are going to restore and we are going to save the republic!”
In a second video posted to Infowars that day, court documents add, Shroyer said he was afraid Trump supporters would not “get this false certification of Biden stopped this week.”
“Everybody knows the election was stolen,” he added, according to court records, " … are we just going to sit here and become activists for [four] years or are [we] going to actually do something about this …”
Before Jan. 6, Shroyer had already had a legal run-in over his behavior at the Capitol. In December 2019, he was arrested for yelling during a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, the AP reported.
Moments after committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) started the hearing, Shroyer used Twitter to broadcast a live video of himself standing up in the packed hearing room and yelling, “Jerry Nadler and the Democrat Party are committing treason against this country!” the New York Times reported. Shroyer kept recording, denouncing Democrats and defending Trump as Capitol Police whisked him away and arrested him.
Shroyer received a deferred prosecution agreement in that case by promising to do 32 hours of community service and to adhere to certain conditions, like not yelling or otherwise disrupting congressional proceedings, the FBI said.
Shroyer was due to show up for a status update in that case this past Friday in D.C. Superior Court but did not show for the hearing, records show. Prosecutors did not seek a warrant for his arrest in the misdemeanor case but requested a new court date be scheduled.