Feds dismantle Oath Keeper and Michael Jackson impersonator

Photos of James Beeks (aka Broadway actor James T. Justis) included in a DOJ fact report regarding the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

Source: Ministry of Justice

A professional Broadway actor who played the role of Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and who also does Michael Jackson impersonations, was arrested Tuesday for invading the United States Capitol on January 6 with other members of the United States. extremist group Oath Keepers.

James Beeks, 49, wore what appears to be his replica of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” touring jacket when he paraded in a so-called stack formation with other Oath Keepers on the East Steps of the Capitol and “broke into” the complex with “a crowd of people” through doors guarded by police officers, according to a court file.

According to authorities, Beeks’ “Evil” costume made him stand out from other Oath Keepers, many of whom wore camouflage during the riot.

The Orlando, Florida resident, who performs under the stage name James T. Justis, was seen earlier this month by authorities playing Judas on a nationwide “Jesus Christ Superstar” tour in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to the file.

Beeks has performed on Broadway in “Kinky Boots”, “Aida”, “Ragtime” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”.

His YouTube page, which goes by the username “jdmoonwalker… describes him as” one of the best Michael Jackson Tribute artists in the United States, “” the file says.

Last December, Beeks made an annual membership payment to Oath Keepers Inc., according to the filing.

Photos of James Beeks (aka Broadway actor James T. Justis) included in a DOJ fact report regarding the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

Source: Ministry of Justice

Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee, where his show began on Tuesday. He was released after appearing in federal court in Wisconsin.

He is accused of obstructing congressional proceedings and entering restricted areas with the aim of disrupting government affairs.

The case is being pursued in United States District Court in Washington, DC, where more than 15 other Oath Keepers and more than 600 other riot accused are also indicted in connection with the assault on the Capitol.

This riot began after two months of false claims by then-President Donald Trump that he did indeed win the 2020 election and that President Joe Biden’s victory was only the result of widespread electoral fraud .

On January 6, Trump spoke at a rally for his supporters outside the White House. He urged the crowd to march to Capitol Hill and protest what was then an ongoing joint session of Congress in the process of confirming the victory of the Electoral College in Biden.

Then-Vice President Mike Pence chaired that session and ended up accepting the results, despite arguments from Trump and other allies that he should reject them.

A protester wears an anti-government organization Oath Keepers badge on a protective vest during a protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, the United States, Tuesday, Jan.5, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol at the end of the rally. Many of them ended up entering the buildings after being pushed by police officers.

Video and stills taken on the riot show Beeks wearing a black jacket with the word “BAD” written on the left chest, black pants, a black helmet, goggles and a neck warmer, according to the file. court. The document adds that he “wore what appears to be a black shield.”

A member of Oath Keeper who previously pleaded guilty to a rioting case on Capitol Hill told authorities that Beeks joined a group of Oath Keepers who marched from the Ellipse in Washington, DC to the Capitol.

Beeks told the other member, whose name was not on file, “that he had recently joined the Oath Keepers, was originally from Orlando and followed” the posts on the Oath Keepers. social media from group leader Kelly Meggs.

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Some of this mob “attacked officers trying to enter the Capitol, while shouting,” Take their shields “,” Our house “and” We want Trump! ” “”, indicates the file. “The attackers assaulted officers using pepper spray, flag poles and numerous improvised weapons and projectiles.”

Authorities say Beeks was part of a group of “Stack One” members who broke up after entering the Capitol Rotunda, then attempted to force their way through a line of police guarding the hallway. which led to the Senate Chamber. This group was forcibly repelled, the file indicates.

The other half of Stack One made its way to the House of Representatives. A member of that splinter group later said they were looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., According to the file.

The file says that “law enforcement has located open source photographs of a person who appears to be Beeks wearing” the same “Bad” tour jacket seen on the person photographed during the Capitol riot.

The file includes’ photographs [that] were posted to Instagram on April 4, 2020, by someone who included the hashtag #jesuschristsuperstar. ”

“According to an online distribution list, the person who posted the photos to Instagram is an actor in a touring production of the play Jesus Christ Superstar,” the file said. “Beeks, under the stage name ‘James T. Justis’, is also an actor in this same production.”

In an interview last month about “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Beeks spoke about the series and what it means.

“The same people who praised him – praised Jesus and supported him are the same people who tore him down,” Beeks said. “I feel a lot of reflection in our society today. And I think art imitates life.”

Beeks also spoke of the character of Judas, who in the gospels betrays Jesus to the Romans, who have him crucified.

He said in this interview with Equality 365 that Judas on the show was “more of a hero”.

“This production leaves us with a question about her role,” Beeks said. “I don’t consider Judas to be a villain. I think he’s a hero. I am honored to be the archetype of Judas and to give him a voice.”

“I want people to see Judas in a different light and from different angles. He was not a bad guy and was just doing what he had to do,” he said.

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