James Delisco Beeks breached the Capitol building during the insurrection with members of the militia group, according to a statement of facts from the FBI. He then proceeded to the rotunda, where surveillance video captured him holding up his cell phone, apparently capturing the moment for posterity.
The DOJ does not allege that Beeks traveled to D.C. with the Oath Keepers. Rather, they say he “joined with a group of Oath Keepers while walking from the Ellipse to the Capitol” after the Stop the Steal rally where Trump spoke. In video and photos from the day, Beeks can be seen clad in all black, wearing a black helmet and a black jacket that has “‘BAD’ written in red on the left breast.” The jacket, prosecutors allege, is from Michael Jackson’s Bad world tour, which began in 1987. Beeks also carried a shield, which prosecutors said he told the Oath Keepers was “homemade and bulletproof.”
“Beeks has an additional connection to Michael Jackson,” the FBI wrote. “According to his LinkedIn profile and YouTube page, Beeks regularly performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator.”
Politico notes that Beeks starred as Judas in a traveling performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, and that he resume also lists roles in Kinky Boots, Aida, and Ragtime.
The Oath Keepers are known as a violent extremist group. You can see some members here in tactical gear moving up the Capitol steps on Jan. 6. pic.twitter.com/jrB1e6WmmH
We got a membership list from an anonymous hacker.
It included 10 sitting state lawmakers, all GOP.
— Isaac Arnsdorf (@iarnsdorf) October 21, 2021
Investigators said they had difficulty identifying Beeks at first because, although he was mostly with a group of Oath Keepers, he was not dressed like them and had his face covered with a gaiter for the entirety of the attack. The feds were finally able to identify him with the help of another Capitol rioter who already pleaded guilty, who is identified only as “Defendant 4.”
“Defendant 4 stated that he spoke with Beeks while the group walked towards the Capitol,” the government’s statement of facts said. “According to Defendant 4, Beeks approached the group, and specifically Defendant 4, and stated that he was an Oath Keeper, that he had recently joined the Oath Keepers, that he was from Orlando, and that he had been following [Florida Oath Keeper leader] Kelly Meggs’s posts on social media.”
Beeks paid dues to the Oath Keepers on Dec. 21, 2020, the FBI found. The FBI further confirmed Beeks’ identity by matching photos of one of his ears that was visible in a photo from Jan. 6. “Specifically, a photograph of Beeks’s right ear while at the Capitol appears similar to Beeks’s right ear as seen on a video of Beeks on Beeks’s YouTube page.”
According to Politico, it’s not yet known whether Beeks will be charged in connection with a larger conspiracy case or if his case will be handled separately. On Tuesday, the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 subpoenaed the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, seeking records and testimony about the attack.