Oath Keepers boss cited Trump ahead of Capitol riots

Jessica Marie Watkins (second from left) and Donovan Ray Crowl (center), both from Ohio, march down the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia group among supporters of the President of the United States. USA, Donald Trump, in Washington on January 6, 2021 Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their role in the siege of the United States Capitol.

Jim Bourg | Reuters

The self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the far-right extremist group Oath Keepers urged his followers to travel to Washington with him on January 6 because “Trump said it’s going to be crazy.” that day, they revealed court documents published on Friday.

“He wants us to make it WILD, that’s what he’s saying,” wrote Oath Keepers director Kelly Meggs in a Facebook post.

That message is detailed in a new replacement indictment accusing him and five other Oath Keepers associates of crimes related to the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill by thousands of Trump supporters.

“He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to go crazy !!! Sir, yes sir !!!” Meggs wrote, according to the indictment filed in the United States District Court in Washington, accusing the defendants of invading the Capitol complex. .

The message referenced a tweet from Trump in late December, when he was involved in a frenzied legal and propaganda effort to overturn the election of Joe Biden as president.

January 6 was the day scheduled for a joint session of Congress, chaired by then-Vice President Mike Pence, to confirm Biden’s victory.

“Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election,” Trump tweeted, referring to his unsubstantiated claims that widespread election fraud had ripped him off of an Electoral College victory.

“Big protest in DC on January 6. Be there, it will be wild,” Trump wrote.

Meggs, in her Facebook post, wrote: “Gentlemen, we’re headed to DC, pack your shit!”

“[W]We will have at least 50-100 OK there, “added Meggs.

The subsequent indictment alleges that Kelly and several other defendants – Connie Meggs, Graydon Young, Laura Steele and Sandra Ruth Parker – wore paramilitary equipment and were joined by two other previously defendants, Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl, “in a pile military-style. ‘formation that marched down the central steps on the east side of the United States Capitol, smashed the door at the top and then stormed the building, “on January 6, the United States Department of Justice said. in a press release.

Members of the Oath Keepers provide security to Roger Stone at a rally the night before the groups attacked the US Capitol, in Washington, US, on January 5, 2021.

Jim Urquhart | Reuters

Trump staged a large rally outside the White House on January 6, where he and his allies, including attorney Rudy Giuliani, encouraged supporters to help them fight the confirmation of Biden’s victory.

In planning the trip to Washington, the indictment alleges, Meggs made statements to the effect that her group did not need to be armed for the attack on the Capitol because she expected there would be a “big 10-minute QRF outing.”

Prosecutors said “QRF” refers to a “‘rapid reaction force,’ a term used by law enforcement agencies and the military to refer to an armed unit capable of responding quickly to developing situations, typically to assist organizations. allied units in need of such assistance. “

The indictment says Young, around the same time as Meggs’ message, arranged for him and others to be trained by a Florida company that provides firearms and combat training.

Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida, was arrested Monday in Tampa, Florida, while Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, both of Dunnellon, Florida, were arrested Wednesday in Ocala, Florida.

The other defendants were recently arrested elsewhere. Steele, 52, of Thomasville, North Carolina, was arrested Wednesday in Greensboro, North Carolina, while Sandra Ruth Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, both of Morrow, Ohio, were arrested. Thursday.

The six defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct an official congressional proceeding, predation on federal government property and illegal entry.

Bennie Parker and another previously charged defendant, Thomas Caldwell, are also charged with obstructing the investigation by allegedly altering documents or procedures by voiding the submission and removing content on Facebook.

Trump was accused by the House of Representatives in January of inciting unrest with his false accusations of fraud and calls on his supporters to fight. The riot left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.

But Trump, who left office on January 20, was acquitted by the Senate last week in his impeachment.


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