Countless video clips and photos emerged in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, allowing authorities to build criminal cases against those believed to have been involved.
Recent reports show that a leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group who was seen that day with Roger Stone, a one-time adviser to former President Donald Trump, has been arrested.
“Standing up for freedom”
Stone denies knowing Minuta, describing him as someone who volunteered to serve as his personal security that day.
Robert Minuta of Newburgh, New York, was reportedly taken into custody on Saturday, though the charges against him were not immediately announced. According to his wife, he never entered the Capitol building as part of the siege but was just “another patriot” at the scene “standing up for freedom.”
Thus far in the continuing investigation, at least five members of the Oath Keepers have been arrested — including three who are facing conspiracy charges.
The FBI has determined that the group “took steps to plan an operation to stop, delay, and hinder Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote.”
It is unclear whether prosecutors believe Minuta had any part in planning the group’s mission in D.C. that day, but his arrest is fueling such speculation.
“I had no advance knowledge”
Stone’s involvement, if any, in the riot is also unknown. He did speak at the rally held in the nation’s capital prior to the riot but did not make any statements interpreted as incitement or endorsement of violence.
Prior to Minuta’s arrest, however, it was reported that members of the Oath Keepers provided security for Stone during the rally and some were seen near him throughout the day.
For his part, Stone declared that he had no knowledge about the breach of the Capitol building before it happened.
In a statement to ABC News, he said: “I had no advance knowledge of the riot at the Capitol. I could not even tell you the names of those who volunteered to provide security for me, required because of the many threats against me and my family.”
Stone has long been a polarizing partisan figure and became a household name during the Trump administration. He had been convicted of tax and bank fraud along with criminal behavior uncovered during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone was ordered to report to prison in July until his sentence was commuted by Trump in December.