Antifa Militant Indicted on New Charges for Destruction in DC

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
August 1, 2020Updated: August 1, 2020

An Antifa member who was charged after allegedly inflicting damage on statues in Washington, D.C., has been indicted on several new charges, boosting the number of years in jail he faces if convicted.

Jason Charter was allegedly part of the mob that tried tearing down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson near the White House on June 22, federal authorities said.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Charter late last month on charges of destruction of government property, destruction of veterans’ memorials, and aiding and abetting.

Charter previously faced up to 10 years in prison. He now faces up to 21 years in jail if convicted of all three counts.

Jackson, America’s seventh president, served in the military before his time in office, including as major general in the War of 1812. The statue of Jackson, a Democrat, was targeted by rioters in the nation’s capital because he supported slavery and has been accused of hostility toward Native Americans.

The indictment stems from Charter’s alleged involvement in the vandalism.

Epoch Times Photo
A man authorities say is Jason Charter in still images from surveillance video. (FBI)

Surveillance video shows a man authorities say is Charter entering Lafayette Park on June 22 wearing distinctive clothing, including an armband and ski goggles.

Later in the day, the same man grabbed ropes attached to the statue and adjusted them before being boosted onto the monument and unwrapping several ropes that were handed to him before attaching one to the statue and giving another to a man next to him.

Charter “is plainly visible” in the footage, according to a criminal complaint.

Charter is a self-described member of Antifa, a far-left, anarcho-communist movement that supports using violence against enemies, which include conservatives and police officers.

He was previously accused of taking part in the toppling of an Albert Pike statue, also in June, but the new indictments don’t mention that.

Charter has said on social media that he is innocent. He pleaded not guilty to all counts during a hearing this week. He is not being detained at present; he was released soon after being charged on personal recognizance.

The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.