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Sarasota Oath Keeper charged in Capitol attack is released from jail

Joseph Hackett
Joseph Hackett(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota member of the Oath Keepers indicted and arrested after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol has been released on his own recognizance, federal court records show.

Joseph Hackett, a chiropractor, was indicted May 26, and charged with conspiring with 16 others in connection with the attack. He was arrested May 29 in Sarasota. He had been in the District of Columbia Jail since June 28, jail officials told ABC7.

Hackett’s next appearance in court is scheduled for Sept. 8.

In his order signed Aug. 23, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta set a number of restrictions on Hackett’s release. He is under 24-hour lockdown at his home; he was ordered to surrender his passport to court authorities in Tampa.

He was also ordered to surrender any weapons in his home to law enforcement or a third party.

He cannot have contact with other members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right antigovernment extremist group.

He is also barred from appearing on any podcast hosted by his wife, Deena Hackett.

Deena Hackett appeared July 22 on former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s podcast, “War Room,” where her husband was described as a political prisoner.

In the indictment, prosecutors say Hackett coordinated planning, travel and actions with others, including entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 when a violent mob brutally beat police, destroyed property and sent lawmakers running. Four of the rioters died, including a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to break into the House chamber.

Hackett is accused of conspiracy; obstruction of an official proceeding, and aiding and abetting; destruction of government property, and aiding and abetting; and illegally entering a restricted building or grounds.

The indictment revealed details of a Nov. 9, 2020, virtual meeting of members of Oath Keepers. The indictment alleges Hackett was on the call when another participant, identified only as Person One, told attendees, “We’re going to defend the president, the duly elected president, and we call on him to do what needs to be done to save our country.

“So our posture’s gonna be that we’re posted outside of DC, um, awaiting the President’s orders. ...We hope he will give us the orders. We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia.”

On Dec. 19, 2020, Hackett allegedly sent an email to Englewood resident Graydon Young which read, “I believe we only need to do this when important info is at hand like locations, identities, Ops planning.” The email had a photo attached; the photo showed cursive handwriting on a lined notepad that stated: “Secure Comms Test. Good talk tonight guys! Rally Point in Northern Port Charlotte at Grays if transportation is possible. All proton mails. May consider an RP8 that won’t burn anyone. Comms – work in progress. Messages in cursive to eliminate digital reads. Plans for recruitment and meetings.”

The indictment also laid out a timeline where Hackett paid for a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington, D.C., from January 5-7, 2021. It alleges Hackett, Young and several others “prepared themselves for battle before heading to the Capitol by equipping themselves with communication devices and donning reinforced vests, helmets, and goggles.”

At 2:28 p.m., the group unlawfully entered the restricted Capitol grounds.

At 2:35 p.m., they joined together with others “known and unknown to form a column or stack of individuals wearing Oath Keepers clothing, patches, insignia, and battle gear (the “Stack”). Together, the Stack maneuvered in an organized fashion up the steps on the east side of the Capitol—each member keeping at least one hand on the shoulder of the other in front of them,” the indictment charges.

Hackett allegedly left the Capitol at 2:54 p.m.

Hackett is not the only Suncoast residents caught up in this investigation:

Daniel Lyons Scott, 28, of Bradenton, a self-identified Proud Boy, was arrested on charges of assault on a federal officer, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, and knowingly engaging in acts of physical violence on restricted grounds.

Publicly available footage shows Scott in a black ballistic vest with goggles clipped to it, at the lower west terrace of the Capitol, according to the Department of Justice. This is where a large crowd was yelling at the United States Capitol Police officers.

In the videos, Scott can be seen pushing two officers backward, up the steps. He appears to be one of the first, or potentially the first, person to initiate contact with law enforcement at that location, according to the Department of Justice.

Graydon Young, of Englewood, faces charges of civil disorder, and aiding and abetting; and tampering with documents or proceedings for deleting his Facebook account.

Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, allegedly stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern during the riot. He was arrested after federal investigators said he was the man seen smiling in photos carrying the lectern through the Capitol Rotunda.

Johnson has been charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

-- Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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