The son of a prominent conservative activist who denounced the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol but has claimed that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election has been charged with participating in the riot.
Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of L. Brent Bozell III, was charged with trespassing and obstruction of an official proceeding in the assault that left five dead, injured more than 100 police officers and delayed the electoral vote confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Charging papers made public Tuesday allege that the younger Bozell, 41, appeared on video on the Senate chamber floor during the event wearing a Hershey Christian Academy hooded sweatshirt. Online tipsters identified him as “Zeek” or “Zeeker Bozell” and traced his work as a girls’ basketball coach in Hershey, Pa., the FBI said.
An FBI agent alleged that Bozell pointed a video camera that was mounted in the Senate chamber at the floor so that it would not record rioters entering.
Bozell attorney David B. Deitch said that neither he nor his client had any comment at this time.
Bozell made an initial appearance Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather, who released him ahead of his trial on the condition that he stay away from the District of Columbia.
Bozell did not enter a plea. His next hearing date is April 21.
Bozell’s father is the founder of a group of right-wing news outlets, including the Media Research Center, NewsBusters and CNSNews. Bozell’s grandfather L. Brent Bozell Jr. was a speechwriter for Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., and ghostwriter of 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of a Conservative.”
Bozell III is also the grandnephew of William F. Buckley Jr., founder of the National Review and a leading conservative intellectual, who once described his greatest achievement as purging the conservative movement in the latter part of the 20th century of “extremists, bigots, kooks, anti-Semites and racists.”
On Jan. 6, Bozell III told Fox Business that the riot was “an explosion of pent-up outrage from middle America. Look, they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them.”
He added, “You can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national Capitol being breached like this. I think it is absolutely wrong.” He blamed “one element that went forward in lawlessness.”
Bozell continued, “I am heartsick about that element that has been so destructive and has done so much damage to a very noble cause, but the damage they have done to conservatives like me is profound.”