Oath Keepers founder 'rallied Capitol rioters on November 9'

‘We want Trump to declare an insurrection and call us up as the militia’: Oath Keepers founder rallied Capitol rioters on a conference call on November 9 – just six days after the election, new indictment reveals

  • Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has not been charged but he allegedly rallied the Capitol rioters 
  • His conduct is described in a newly unsealed indictment where he is referred to as Person One 
  • On November 9, he allegedly told members of Oath Keepers on an online conference call that they wanted Trump to ‘declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia’
  • Over the next few months, other Oath Keepers plotted their role in the riot, according to the indictment
  • They trained in Ohio and discussed their plan over texts and other messages 
  • Sixteen Oath Keepers have been charged for their role in the Capitol riot so far 

The founder of far-right militia Oath Keepers started rallying men who eventually stormed the Capitol on January 6 as far back as November 9, after Biden won the election, telling them on a conference call: ‘We want Trump to declare an insurrection and call us up as the militia. Let the fight start there.’ 

The new details were included in an indictment against four rioters – Joseph Hackett, 50, Jason Dolan, 40, William Isaacs, 21, and another, unnamed defendant, filed on Monday. 

They are among 16 Oath Keeper members who have been charged so far. The others are Thomas Caldwell, 65, Donovan Crowl, 50, Jessica Watkins, 38, Sandra Parker, 60, Bennie Parker, 70, Graydon Young, 54, Laura Steele, 52, Kelly Meggs, 52, Connie Meggs, 59, Kenneth Harrelson, 40, Roberto Minuta, 36, Joshua James, 33, Joseph Hackett, 50.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has not been charged, but he was mentioned repeatedly in the newly unsealed indictment as ‘Person One’. It’s unclear why he has not been arrested.  

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has not been charged, but he was mentioned repeatedly in the newly unsealed indictment as ‘Person One’. It’s unclear why he has not been arrested

According to prosecutors, on November 9 – after the election was called for Biden -Rhodes told the men in an online GoToMeeting conference call: ‘We’re going to defend the president, the duly elected president. Because if you don’t, guys, you’re going to be in a bloody, bloody civil war and a bloody…insurrection, or you can call it a war or fight. 

‘I’m willing to sacrifice myself for that. Let the fight start there. That will give President Trump what he needs, frankly.

‘If things go kinetic, good. If they throw bombs at us and shoot us, great, because that brings the president his reason and rationale for dropping the Insurrection Act.” 

‘I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside, and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in armed, if they have to…So our posture’s gonna be that we’re posted outside of DC, um, awaiting the President’s orders. . . . We hope he will give us the orders.

‘We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia.’ 

By then, claims from Trump’s camp about voter fraud were widespread and millions thought he’d been robbed of victory. 

Over the coming months, members of the group allegedly plotted the attack. 

Watkins is said to have recruited people in Ohio, telling them he was organizing a week-long training camp and saying: ‘I need you fighting fit by inauguration.’ 

On November 17, when asked what his prediction was for the coming year, Watkins allegedly told a recruit: ‘I can’t predict. I don’t underestimate the resolve of the Deep State. 

‘Biden may still yet be our President. If he is, our way of life as we know it is over. Our Republic would be over. 

‘Then it is our duty as Americans to fight, kill and die for our rights.’      

The men who have been arrested continued to exchange texts and emails until the riot. 

Rhodes encouraged them online, according to the indictment. 

On January 4, he posted online: ‘It is CRITICAL that all patriots who can be in DC get to DC to stand tall in support of President Trump’s fight to defeat the enemies foreign and domestic who are attempting a coup, through the massive vote fraud and related attacks on our Republic. 

‘We Oath Keepers are both honor-bound and eager to be there in strength to do our part.’ 

In another, he said: ‘As we have done on all recent DC Ops, we will also have well armed and equipped QRF1 teams on standby, outside DC, in the event of a worst case scenario, where the President calls us up as part of the militia to to assist him inside DC. 

‘We don’t expect a need for him to call on us for that at this time, but we stand ready if he does (and we also stand ready to answer the call to serve as militia anytime in the future, and anywhere in our nation, if he does invoke the Insurrection Act).’ 

Despite his alleged role in organizing the men who have been charged, Rhodes has not. 

He claimed in March that he and other Oath Keeper members were the victims of  a conspiracy.

‘I may go to jail soon, not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes,’ he said. 

Four more members of the far-right militia have been charged with federal criminal conspiracy, bringing to 16 the total number facing prosecution

Members of the Oath Keepers on the steps of the Capitol during the January 6 riots. A total of 16 have now been charged with federal conspiracy

The Oath Keepers are a far-right, anti-government militia group who claim they have a membership of around 35,000

Jessica Watkins (left) and Donavan Crowl, both military veterans, are among the 16 people who have been arrested from Oath Keepers over their role in the riot 

This superseding indictment, part of a larger federal government criminal conspiracy case, now includes a total of 16 Oath Keepers. The other 12 co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors have said in recent weeks that others members of the militia group planned to commit violence and brought firearms into the city.

The Oath Keepers accept anyone, the recent court filing notes, but ‘explicitly focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement, and first-responder personnel.’ 

Senate Republicans last week voted down a House-passed bill that would create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack.

Democrats were unable to override a Republican filibuster placed on the bill during a Friday vote of 54 to 35, with 60 votes needed.

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman and Ben Sasse voted alongside 48 Democrats.

The bill is now essentially dead – though Democrats may launch other investigations and some are ongoing in Senate committees.

Last month, a founding member of the far-right group Oath Keepers has pleaded guilty to two felony charges over the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Jon Ryan Schaffer, 53, struck a plea deal with prosecutors Friday, becoming the first person charged in relation to the attack to plead guilty.

Schaffer was initially slapped with six charges over the violent incident, but pleaded guilty to two charges as part of the deal: obstruction of an official proceeding and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Police said Schaffer – who hails from Indiana – was armed with bear spray when he barged into the Capitol following a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally held earlier in the day.

As part of the plea deal, Schaffer has agreed to cooperate with investigators – prompting rumors he may ‘turn’ on some of his fellow Oath Keeper members. 

The Oath Keepers are a far-right, anti-government militia group who claim they have a membership of around 35,000. 

Source: Read Full Article