In the days after Jessica Watkins stormed the Capitol Jan. 6 with her fellow Oath Keepers, prosecutors say, the loyalty of military veterans to the far-right paramilitary group only “calcified.”
The 38-year-old, who is accused of preparing and training for at least two months to “fight hand-to-hand” to take over the Capitol, was concerned about the optics of the Oath Keepers after the insurrection, and spoke of suing anyone. . “Class action style” that spoke out against the group.
“If you have something negative to say about us OATHKEEPERS, I will let you know so we can sue more. Class action style. Oath keepers are the shit, “Watkins wrote after a media report” portrayed his conduct and that of his fellow oath keepers … in a negative light, “according to a memo that prosecutors filed Tuesday in support of his arrest.
“They rescued policemen, WE saved lives and did everything right. At the end of the day, this guy better not test us. A lawsuit could even put cash in OK chests. He doesn’t know who he’s playing with. I will not tolerate defamation of character, myself or the Patriots we serve with in DC. Hooah ?! “she added.
Prosecutors believe that Watkin’s continued loyalty to the Oath Keepers and the “federal crime of terrorism” with which she has been charged justifies their request to keep her in custody pending trial.
During Tuesday’s detention hearing, US District Judge Amit P. Mehta remained skeptical of the government’s allegations that Watkins was a flight risk if he committed a “crime of violence.” He asked prosecutors for more information on whether the government’s property destruction charge qualifies as “a federal crime of terrorism.” The request delayed its decision on his arrest until Friday.
“These are issues that will not affect just Ms. Watkins, but potentially dozens and dozens of others to come,” Mehta said.
Watkins is one of several members of the right-wing group who has been charged with various crimes, including a conspiracy to disrupt Congress on January 6 when they met to certify the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden. He allegedly trained recruits to put them in “fighting form” for another attack at the inauguration and screened interested people in the January 6 riot to “make sure the right people” were affiliated with the Oath Keepers.
Federal authorities have described the Oath Keepers as “a large but loosely organized collection of [the] militias that believe that the federal government has been co-opted by a shadow conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights ”and that largely recruit former military personnel, law enforcement officers and first responders.
The memo comes after Watkins’ attorneys argued that their client should be released as she has been “treated harshly” and is at “particular risk in custody” because she is transgender. That presentation also insisted that she is not a threat to the public because she only stormed the Capitol because she believed “that the President of the United States was calling her.”
His attorneys also submitted a letter from one of Oath Keeper’s friends that downplayed his actions as that of an “idiot” whose “feelings overcame his brain.” The letter, written by an old friend identified as Zach H., insists that Watkins is not a terrorist, but someone who, sadly, was “brainwashed by those deeply ingrained in conspiracy beliefs.”
“I do not believe that she is totally irresponsible for her actions, nor do I believe that she should or would like to be, but I urge the court from my humble place as a common citizen to show the mercy that I know Americans are capable of,” the letter states. , which was presented on Monday night.
Prosecutors note that Watkins’s defense ignores the many well-documented actions that she, along with other Oath Keeper members and associates, took in an effort to forcibly stop the 2020 Electoral College Vote certification.
“She also notes that the detention depends ‘on whether she is likely to commit other crimes if she is released pending trial,’ but she still believes that the crimes she committed, the evidence of which is ‘admittedly solid,’ were legal and consistent with her oath of support the Constitution, ”says the memo.
When thousands of MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol, Watkins and his militia were clearly visible in photos and videos as they marched in an organized “line up the steps on the east side of the Capitol, wearing combat helmets, bulletproof vests, protective gloves. on the knuckles and spokes, ”prosecutors allege.
“Me before breaking into the Capitol. #stopthesteal #stormthecapitol #oathkeepers #ohiomilitia, ”Watkins captioned a photo she posted of herself on Parler, the memo says.
While Watkins insists that she did not “intend to destroy property and even told others not to engage in such conduct,” she has not provided an explanation for the videos showing her with the rioters violating the Capitol or the planning. months that you promised to have. armed militia waiting nearby.
Prosecutors consider Watkins a flight risk because she suggested she is willing to go “underground if this hit [Biden election] jobs.”
“There are no conditions or combination of conditions that reasonably guarantee the safety of the community or the [Watkin’s] submission to the authority of this Court if she perceives the actions of our leaders or this Court as contradictory to her understanding of her duties under the Constitution, ”the memorandum concludes. “Liberation may be the norm, but [Watkin’s] The actions and beliefs that inspired her are a unique threat to our democratic way of life. “