Oath Keepers leader coordinated with Proud Boys and others ahead of Capitol riots, prosecutors say

A man accused of being the leader of a paramilitary group called Oath Keepers was in contact with similar groups, including the Proud Boys, in mid-December to plan potentially violent action in Washington on January 6, according to a recent report. court document presented.

It was the government’s first suggestion that members of extremist groups get in touch before arriving in Washington.

The indictment came in a Justice Department memo opposing the pretrial release of Kelly Meggs of Florida. Prosecutors said he is one of 10 members of the Oath Keepers who played a prominent role in the assault on the Capitol. Investigators have repeatedly said that members of both groups were among those who first broke through police lines around the Capitol and were the first to make their way into the building.

In the latest filing, prosecutors said Meggs “conspired with her co-conspirators to stop the Electoral College’s vote certification, prepared to use violence if necessary, and stormed the Capitol.”

On December 19, according to court records, Meggs posted a message on Facebook that read: “This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3% ers and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and close this s … – below . “

Three days later, he published “Contact with PB and they always have a large group. Force multiplier,” the government said.

Between December 12 and January 4, prosecutors said, Meggs organized and participated in approximately 10 online discussions on the GoToMeeting video conferencing platform that were affiliated with Oath Keepers. He directed and planned the group’s activities and paid for two hotel rooms in Washington, according to court records.

The document does not allege that the groups formulated a plan to attack the Capitol before reaching Washington. When asked during an interview on “60 Minutes” last week if there was a premeditated plan to violate the Capitol, the man who oversaw the investigation, Michael Sherwin, said: “That is what we are trying to determine right now.” .

“It’s going to be wild !!!! It’s going to be wild !!!! “Meggs wrote in a Facebook post, saying then-President Donald Trump” wants us to make it WILD, that’s what he’s saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild! Gentleman we’re headed to DC pack your shit !! “

In another Facebook post on Dec. 25, Meggs said that he and other Oath Keepers would likely be protecting someone during the day, according to the court document. The name is crossed out, but some Oath Keepers were providing security for Roger Stone, who had been a Trump adviser.

He also listed the provisions people would need in Washington, including maces, gas masks, batons, and armor.

In that message, Meggs appeared to be contemplating some kind of street protest action, saying the Oath Keepers would march with the Proud Boys, “then back off to the back of the crowd and shut down,” prepared to interact with any antifa member. .

In another Facebook post, Meggs predicted that Trump would not resign. “If Trump stays, he will use the emergency broadcast system on cell phones to broadcast to the American people. Then he will claim the act of insurrection.”

But by the afternoon of January 6, prosecutors said, Meggs and other Oath Keepers rushed to the Capitol in a military-style formation.

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