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Broadway actor playing Judas in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' arrested in Milwaukee for Capitol Riot

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James Beeks FBI Capitol riot Jan. 6 photo

James Beeks FBI Capitol riot Jan. 6 photo

MILWAUKEE — A Broadway actor from Florida who had been playing the role of Judas in a tour of the rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot.

James Beeks, 49, of Orlando, was charged with a felony count of obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, according to court records. He was arrested in Milwaukee and made his initial court appearance in Wisconsin. He was released pending further court proceedings. The case is being prosecuted in Washington federal court.

As a stage performer, Beeks goes by the name James T. Justis.

James Beeks FBI Capitol riot Jan. 6 photo

James Beeks FBI Capitol riot Jan. 6 photo

According to court documents, Beeks joined with others objecting to Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory over former Republican President Donald Trump. A mob attacked the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying election results, authorities said. Five people died in the violence. Several Capitol officers who had been there that day have since committed suicide.

At one point during the attack, a group of Oath Keeper members and affiliates marched in “stack” formation into the Capitol grounds and then up the east steps of the Capitol to the area outside of the Rotunda doors. Beeks was part of a mob of people, including some who attacked law enforcement, prosecutors said. The doors were eventually breached, and the group stormed into the Capitol.

A federal judge expressed skepticism Thursday when attorneys for former President Donald Trump asked her to prevent the handover of documents sought by a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.SEE MORE: Capitol Rioter Who Bragged About Actions Sentenced 60 DaysSome of the committee's requests dating back to April 2020 are alarmingly broad, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said. But she disagreed with claims by Trump's lawyers that Congress did not have a legislative purpose for getting Trump's call logs, talking points and other notes from Jan. 6 as his supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of overturning his loss to President Joe Biden.Chutkan said she will rule soon on Trump's lawsuit seeking to block the release of documents related to the insurrection to the House committee. President Biden largely waived executive privilege on documents held by the White House, setting up a showdown between Trump and the executive and legislative branches that's likely to go to the Supreme Court.The records that would be given to the committee include call logs, drafts of remarks and speeches and handwritten notes from Trump's then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, according to a court filing by the National Archives. There are also copies of talking points from then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and a draft Executive Order on the topic of election integrity," the National Archives said.Trump called the document requests a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition that was untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose, in his lawsuit to block the National Archives from turning over the documents.The suit also challenges the legality of the Presidential Records Act, which allows an incumbent president to waive executive privilege of a predecessor, calling it inherently unconstitutional. President Biden has said he would go through each request separately to determine whether that privilege should be waived.Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Once inside the Capitol, the group split up. Half of them, including Beeks, tried to push their way through a line of law enforcement officers guarding a hallway that led to the Senate chamber, officials said. Law enforcement forcibly repelled their advance. Beeks and others with him regrouped in the Rotunda and then left the building.

Before the confrontation, Beeks joined with a group of Oath Keepers while walking from the Ellipse, where Trump had held a “Stop the Steal” rally, to the Capitol, officials said. Unlike the camouflage-combat attire of many in the group, Beeks was wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket and a black helmet, and he was carrying what appeared to be a homemade black shield, officials said.

Online court records didn't list an attorney for Beeks.

Since Jan. 6, more than 675 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, officials said. More than 210 people have been charge with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.



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