On January 6, 2021, a supporter of Donald Trump named James Mault participated in the attack on the United States Capitol.
On January 18, the FBI questioned Mault about his role in the riot that day.
Mault, who was known to online sleuths as #IronWorkerGuy because he wore a hard hat with a bunch of stickers referencing New York unions, quickly lost his job.
Then, in June, James Mault joined the United States Army as an active duty soldier.
Months after participating in an attack on American democracy on behalf of a former reality TV star, Mault asserted his duty to obey the orders of President Joe Biden and vowed that he “would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Last week like The HuffPost first reported, Mault was arrested in connection with the attack on the United States Capitol. He and his friend Cody Mattice, known as #CodyFromRochester, were pictured spraying a chemical agent on police as officers were besieged by the violent mob of Trump supporters trying to prevent the certification of Biden’s decisive electoral victory.
Online detectives discovered after Mault’s arrest that he had previously been in the military. But when the government revealed on Wednesday that Mault had been arrested at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, it became clear that the military was not just in his past.
Fort Bragg spokesman Col. Joseph Buccino confirmed to HuffPost that Mault, who previously served in the military, joined the service in June and has since been stationed at Fort Bragg as a crew member of artillery cannon.
The military, Buccino said, was unaware of Mault’s alleged actions on Capitol Hill when he re-enlisted.
“Everything he would have done happened before he joined the military,” Buccino said.
But the events of January 6 have happened for a short time in the past eight years, when Mault was not in the military. He first enlisted in 2013 and was an active-duty soldier until 2016, when deployed for a year in Kuwait, Buccino said. From 2016 to 2020, Mault served in the Army Reserve.
Whether Mault was able to join the army – when he was listed as suspect no. 142 on FBI Capitol Violence wanted list – raises serious questions about recent promises made by the Pentagon to better screen recruits for links to extremism.
Mault knew when he joined the military that he was under an FBI investigation. According to an FBI affidavit, special agents in the office interviewed Mault on January 18, less than two weeks after the attack on Capitol Hill and just two days before Biden’s inauguration. Mault’s mother, whose Facebook account features several images of her son in uniform, told the FBI that her husband drove Mault and some of his friends to DC for the Trump rally, which Mault confirmed to the FBI in his own. interview.
“Mault traveled with five of his friends to the rally and said it was important for everyone to have a group of friends who can rely on each other these days,” the affidavit of the FBI.
Magistrate Judge James E. Gates of the Eastern District of North Carolina concluded yesterday “with clear and compelling evidence that there are no conditions or set of conditions to reasonably ensure the safety of the community” and to guarantee Mault’s future court appearances. The ruling noted that Mault joined the military after apparently losing his other job due to his actions on the United States Capitol.
“One factor in the court’s decision regarding the risk of absconding is the likelihood that [the] the accused will be discharged from the military, ”Gates wrote. “It was his work in the military (at Fort Bragg) that brought him and his immediate family to this district. His reenlistment in the military came after the apparent loss of his job in New York City due to his involvement in the events of January 6, 2021.
Buccino, the spokesperson for Fort Bragg, said no disciplinary proceedings against Mault would take place until the federal civil investigation was completed.
In February, after it became clear that many U.S. Army veterans and active duty members took part in the attack on Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a historic 60-day withdrawal order demanding commanders to have “necessary discussions” on extremism with the troops.
“We will not tolerate actions that go against the core tenets of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissenting ideologies,” Austin wrote in a note announcing the order.
Yet as a HuffPost survey revealed, a prominent white nationalist named Shawn McCaffrey was able to join the Air Force in January, graduating from training camp in March. (The Air Force later kicked out McCaffrey service.)
Mault’s enlistment came even later, in June, two months after Austin issued another memo, this one outlining the Pentagon’s plans to either eliminate extremists in the military or prevent them from joining in. first place.
Law enforcement officials, as well as extremism specialists, have long warned of the risks of extremists joining the military, where they can receive combat training that they can then use against. civilian targets.
The Huffington Gt