Iced Earth frontman Jon Schaffer, who is still being detained for his role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, had not voted in a presidential election in the last 12 years, according to a new report.
Protestors stages the Capitol riot to dispute the 2020 election results. None of the three other Indiana men arrested for their role at the riot voted in the 2020 election.
The video report, by Indiana TV news station WISH, claims that voting records indicate Schaffer voted in 2020 but had not participated in either of the previous two general presidential elections. The report does not indicate who he voted for, nor does it indicate whether he voted in local, statewide or U.S. elections in non-presidential years.
Contrary to recent reports, Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer has not yet been extradited to Washington, D.C., where he will face federal criminal charges for his role in the pro-Trump Capitol riot on January 6. The guitarist has been held at Marion County Jail in Indianapolis, IN since his arrest in Columbus, IN on January 17.
Following his arrest, The New York Times reported that authorities believed Schaffer to be a member of the Oath Keepers, an organized, far-right militia group known as the Oath Keepers who planned the invasion of the building in advance. Schaffer was wearing an Oath Keepers hat in a widely circulated photo taken inside the Capitol and has expressed similar views in several interviews over the years.
Days later, however, the Indiana chapter of the Oath Keepers released a statement in which they asserted that Schaffer is not a member of their organization.
After Schaffer turned himself in, the FBI Indianapolis Field Office indicated he faces 6 charges, including spraying Capitol police with ‘bear spray.’ ”
Schaffer was also charged with “unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds,” which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison that could rise to a maximum of 10 years if injuries or weapons were involved.
The full list of charges is as follows:
- “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority”
- “Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business”
- “Knowingly Engages 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”
- “Engage in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building”
- “Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket in a Capitol Building”
When word of his involvement in the Capitol riots spread, his bandmates issued a collective statement distancing themselves from the violence but stopped short of publicly disagreeing with his political views. Vocalist Stu Block indicated he supported the protests until they turned violent, and later deleted comments and banned fans who pointed that out.
Hansi Kürsch, Schaffer’s bandmate in Demons & Wizards (also a member of Blind Guardian), announced he quit the band on February 1.
A number of folks who donated to the Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming Iced Earth book publicly renounced their fandom and demanded refunds, posting angry comments on the book’s crowdfunding page. Others, however, continue to support Schaffer.
Both Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards no longer appear on the current or former artist pages of Schaffer’s longtime label, Century Media. The label has yet to issue a formal statement as to whether or not they’ve dropped the two acts.
The guitarist has been quite open about his far-right political views for years, openly discussing his mistrust of government (with a special emphasis on the federal reserve), asserting his belief that Trump’s loss in the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election was tipped by illegal immigrants, speaking out in favor of arming teachers to prevent school shootings, and claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax.