Trump-backed Jan 6 choir includes rioters charged with attacking police

Trump has collaborated with accused rioters on a song

Eric Garcia
Thursday 04 May 2023 17:48 BST
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Multiple inmates who recorded a song with former president Donald Trump have been charged with assaulting police officers during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, The Washington Post reported.

The group recorded a song entitled “Justice for All” wherein they sing “The Star Spangled Banner” while Mr Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

A recent video showed a group of inmates singing the US national anthem around 9pm, which has become a routine for the accused rioters. The Post identified five of the 15 men in the video and four of them have been charged with assaulting police officers with weapons such as a crowbar, sticks and chemical spray. One of the attacked officers included Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the riot at the Capitol.

The Trump campaign has said it does not know the names of the singers. The song later became the number one song on iTunes.

One of the inmates, Ryan Nichols, faces charges including assaulting a federal officer with a weapon and has pleaded guilty to all charges.

Another named Shane Jenkins was found guilty of all charges he faced. Mr Jenkins took part in an hours-long fight between police officers and rioters, wherein he threw a flagpole and a desk drawer at an officer and tried to break a window with an ax, according to court records.

Similarly, William Chrestman is currently awaiting trial for six charges, including leading a group of Proud Boys from Kansas City and telling an officer, “You shoot, and I’ll take your f***ing ass out!” He is also accused of using an axe handle to prevent police from closing building gates.

The Post also identified Jonathan Mellis who was caught on video repeatedly hitting police officers with a giant stick. Similarly, Julian Khater pleaded guilty to using chemical spray on the late Mr Sicknick and was sentenced to 80 months in prison.

Mr Trump has repeatedly decried the living conditions of the inmates charged for crimes related to January 6 and in March, Republican members of Congress visited a jail to meet with inmates.

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