National Security

Broadway actor starring in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ accused in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

A Broadway actor who is currently playing Judas in a national tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” has been charged by the Justice Department in connection with allegedly taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

James Beeks, 49, was arrested Tuesday and charged with a felony count of obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, according to the Justice Department

He was identified by law enforcement officials based on photos that showed him wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket and carrying a homemade shield, according to an official release that included photos allegedly showing Beeks at the Capitol. 

Beeks, who is originally from Orlando, Fla., regularly performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator. His YouTube page — with a username of “jdmoonwalker” — describes him as “one of the Top Michael Jackson Tribute artists in the US,” the Justice Department said. 

Prosecutors added that Beeks was dressed differently when compared with “the camouflage-combat attire of many individuals” identified as members of the Oath Keepers who were allegedly pictured near him. 

Beeks was arrested in Milwaukee. Federal investigators said they previously “observed” him in the role of Judas at shows this month in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He was released pending further court proceedings.

Court documents said “Beeks conspired with others known and unknown to forcibly enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and to obstruct the Congressional proceeding occurring that day.” 

The document added that Beeks is “an affiliate of the Oath Keepers” and was a member of the “stack” formation that stormed into the Capitol.

He was further identified from news footage and surveillance videos in which Beeks can allegedly be seen in the center of the “stack” along with number of other co-conspirators.

While his face was fully covered, the Justice Department added that it further identified him by a photograph of “Beeks’s right ear while at the Capitol” and compared it to “Beeks’s right ear as seen on a video” on his YouTube page.

The arrest warrant added that he was performing on the 50th anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” under the stage name of James T. Justis. 

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers on Tuesday, going directly after the right-wing groups and their leaders.

Some 18 members of the Oath Keepers are facing charges detailing their alleged conspiracy to move in military-style coordination through the Capitol.

Tags Department of Justice James Beeks Jan 6. attack Oath Keepers
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