At least 45 of the approximately 450 overall defendants have ties to the U.S. military. The bulk of these 45 defendants are veterans, but a handful are still serving, including an active duty Marine Corps officer from Virginia who was arrested earlier this month.
A quarter of the defendants with military ties are also connected to right-wing extremist groups, like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. These groups had a significant presence at the January 6 riot. They’ve attracted considerable attention from federal prosecutors investigating the attack and from Pentagon officials who are coming to grips with the problem of extremism in the military.
Many of these veterans believed the conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, according to court documents. Some also said they felt a sense of patriotic responsibility, given their past military service, to stop Congress from certifying what they thought was a stolen election.
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