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Indiana state senator linked to extremist militia group Oath Keepers

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Courtesy of the Indiana Senate Republican caucus
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Indiana Sen. Scott Baldwin (R-Noblesville) has been linked to the anti-government extremist group the Oath Keepers.

A ProPublica analysis of a data leak of the violent militia group listed Baldwin as an “annual member.”

The nonprofit news organization analyzed a leaked list of more than 35,000 members of the Oath Keepers and found about four dozen state and local government officials across the country – all of them Republicans.

Prosecutors have said Oath Keepers were part of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Baldwin, a former Indianapolis police officer, said he gave $30 to the group in 2010, when he was running for county sheriff. In a statement, the he said the Oath Keepers were described to him then as a "Second Amendment rights group" and that he’s had no interaction or communication with it since that decade-old donation.

Senate Republican Leader Sen. Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) noted Baldwin said he wasn't affiliated with the group.

"In his time in the Indiana Senate, Sen. Baldwin has been a very thoughtful and capable leader for us on a number of subjects," Bray said in a statement.

In a statement, the Indiana Democratic Party called the reported connection “alarming” and said Baldwin should denounce the group.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.