An attorney for a member of the Oath Keepers indicted in the Capitol attack retracted controversial claims that she was in Washington DC on January 6 to provide security while working with the Secret Service.
Jessica Watkins, 38, of Champagne Ohio County faces a number on charges related to the insurrection, including conspiracy and aiding in the destruction of property, along with eight other members of the far-right militia group.
Over the weekend, her lawyer claimed that she was present in the capital that day not as an insurrectionary, but to provide security for those speaking at the pro-Donald Trump rally in advance and to “provide an escort to legislators and others to they will march to the Capitol according to the instructions of the then president. “
His lawyers also claimed that they gave him a “VIP pass” for the January 6 demonstration and that he “met” with Secret Service agents.
After the original claim made headlines, her federal public defender filed a motion for “clarification” and denied that the Secret Service had officially sanctioned her to work as security.
“The attorney apologizes for being unclear on a couple of points raised in the original motion,” reads the new filing.
“The council in no way meant to imply that Ms. Watkins met with the Secret Service. A better verb would have been ‘found.’
“Ms. Watkins spoke to members of the Secret Service earlier in the day as she passed through the registration point for the VIP area,” the motion adds.
“The point the attorney was trying to make was that he ran into the police, including a Secret Service officer on his way to provide security for the rally. They gave him instructions on the things he could and couldn’t do, including instructions to leave all the tactical equipment outside the VIP area, and she compliment by all those directives.
“Ms. Watkins is not suggesting that she has direct knowledge that her security role was authorized by anyone other than the people involved in organizing the rally. She certainly did not mean to suggest that she was hired by the United States Secret Service to perform security tasks “. . “
A Secret Service spokesperson earlier said in a statement to CNN: “In carrying out its protective functions on January 6, the US Secret Service enlisted the assistance of various government partners. Any claims that the Service Secret employed private citizens to perform these functions is false. “
Although the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group that reportedly has tens of thousands of members, are known to have provided security at events in the past, there is no indication that Watkins or the eight other people she is accused of were formally on Capitol Hill that day to provide protection.
In the affidavit Listing the charges against him, prosecutors allege that Watkins used the social media app Parler boast forcing entry to the Capitol building.
“Me before breaking into the Capitol building,” she allegedly wrote while sharing a picture of her in full Oath Keepers parliamentary-style uniform.
“We stormed the Capitol today … we even made it to the Senate,” he added in a separate Jan. 6 post.
In other Parler After the post, Watkins responded to a comment questioning whether he actually broke into the building by replying, “Nope. Forced. Like Rugby. We entered through the back door of the Capitol.”
A court hearing will be held on Tuesday to decide whether Watkins can be released before his trial.