An Iowa man who once vowed online to behead President Joe Biden has pleaded guilty to a charge in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Kenneth Rader, who is from Sioux City, entered his plea to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. The three other charges he initially faced, which included disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, were dropped under the plea deal.
Rader’s guilty plea came as the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot is set to hold the first of its public hearings on Thursday in a live prime-time broadcast to begin presenting what its probe has uncovered. The hearing will include live testimonies, speeches and video evidence that the House panel says provide an “initial summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”
It will be the first of several hearings that the select committee said it will hold. The next is scheduled for June 13, but the panel has yet to announce a schedule for additional hearings. The committee said that the first hearing will provide a preview of those that will follow.
Rader’s profile on the Justice Department’s website shows that he was arrested on January 20 this year in Sioux City and entered his plea on Tuesday.
The statement of facts in his case says that on or around January 8, 2021, mere days after a mob of former President Donald Trump‘s supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the certification of Biden’s election victory, an individual identified as a relative of Rader and referred to as Tipster 1 submitted a tip to the FBI.
“My radicalized [family member] Kenneth Bruce Rader Jr. from Sioux City, IA has been sharing videos of himself on Capital [sic] grounds and inside the building and has verbally articulated a full rage [sic] of threats against VP Mike Pence, stating that ‘We’re not done!’ … ‘watch what ‘we’ do after Trump is gone,’” Tipster 1 said, according to the statement of facts.
About a month after the Capitol riot, a Facebook page under Rader’s name updated its cover photo to a picture that included a large “Q,” according to the court document, seemingly in connection to the far-right political movement QAnon.
Rader’s social media has featured several troubling posts and comments. He wrote in late 2020 that Biden’s certification and inauguration would “spill blood in the streets,” said there would be no peaceful transfer of power and made a statement that he would “behead” Biden “like ISIS,” the Associated Press reported. On the day of the riot, he entered the Capitol building after climbing scaffolding, remained inside for multiple minutes and even took glass shards and plaster from the walls to keep as souvenirs, the AP added.
Tipster 1 and another family member referred to as Tipster 2 were interviewed by law enforcement and shared videos that Rader had made of his activities, according to the statement of facts.
When sentenced, Rader could face up to six months in prison.
Several high-profile figures have also entered guilty pleas to more serious charges in connection to the Capitol riot, including multiple members of the far-right Oath Keepers group who have pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy.
Newsweek was told that Rader had no comment on his guilty plea after contacting his public defender.
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