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PoliticsNew indictment reveals Oath Keepers’ chaotic drive to Capitol, flood of communications...

New indictment reveals Oath Keepers’ chaotic drive to Capitol, flood of communications on Jan. 6

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The doc describes a harrowing journey by Minuta, James, and others in a gaggle of golf carts they took to get to the Capitol by way of D.C. visitors. Minuta, wearing “battle apparel”—hard-knuckle tactical gloves, ballistic goggles, a radio with an earpiece and bear spray— apparently texted a working commentary because the passenger.

“Patriots are storming the Capitol building; there’s violence against patriots by the D.C. police; so we’re en route in a grand theft auto golf cart to the Capitol building right now . . . it’s going down, guys; it’s literally going down right now Patriots storming the Capitol building . . .” Minuta allegedly acknowledged through the drive.

The addition brings to 12 the overall variety of Oath Keepers indicted for conspiracy to “stop, delay, or hinder Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote.” So far, Rhodes has not been indicted, although prosecutors have been circling, and in every submitting seem like getting closing to charging him alongside the others.

The indictment says Rhodes and his crew—together with an unnamed communications chief designated as “Person 10,” and three Oath Keepers who guarded Stone—engaged in “frequent and consistent communication leading up to the attack.” Overall, they exchanged 19 telephone calls over three hours that day:

  • At about 1 p.m., Minuta and Rhodes exchanged two calls totaling about three minutes at roughly the identical time {that a} mob of Trump supporters first surged by way of police barricades onto Capitol grounds.
  • From 1:59 to 2:15 p.m., over a 17-minute span, “Person 10” spoke with Rhodes, after which exchanged 5 calls with James totaling about 6½ minutes, whereas Rhodes known as Florida Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs—who led the “stack” formation—for 15 seconds. This was about the identical time the doorways to the Capitol had been first being breached.
  • Rhodes then forwarded a message from “Person 10” telling the crew that the mob had “taken ground at the capital[.] We need to regroup any members who are not on mission.” “Person 10” then known as Meggs for 42 seconds.
  • Between 2:24 and a couple of:33 p.m., Rhodes spoke with “Person 10” for almost 5½ minutes, after which “Person 10” and Meggs spoke. After James checked again with “Person 10,” he and Minuta jumped into the golf cart and headed towards the Capitol, the place they started harassing officers exterior the east doorways of the constructing. At 3:15 p.m., the 2 males entered the constructing, pushing previous police on the Rotunda doorways.
  • Between 3:40 and 4:05 p.m., “Person 10” linked for 3 minutes with James, Minuta, and Rhodes for 3½ minutes. Shortly afterward, greater than a dozen Oath Keepers, together with many who had entered the Capitol, gathered round Rhodes simply exterior the constructing.

The communications throughout the crew additionally indicated that the insurrectionists had been following a beforehand mapped technique. Jessica Watkins, one of many leaders of the group that entered the Capitol, texted: “We have a good group. We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan.”

“You are executing citizen’s arrest,” one individual responded. “Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud.”

Watkins responded: “We are in the mezzanine. We are in the main dome right now. We are rocking it. They are throwing grenades, they are fticking shooting people with paint balls. But we are in here.”

Another individual informed Watkins to remain secure, then added: “Get it, Jess. Do your fucking thing. This is what we fucking [unintelligible] up for. Everything we fucking trained for.”

There was no indication within the indictment that the federal government is aware of the contents of the 19 calls, nor did it establish “Person 10.” In interviews, Rhodes has mentioned he had named as his on-the-ground crew chief a former Army explosives professional and Blackwater contractor nicknamed “Whip.”

Justice Department officers have indicated they’re additionally considering bringing sedition charges in opposition to the insurrectionists. “I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements,” Michael Sherwin, the previous crew chief of the investigation, informed 60 Minutes. “I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that.”

Rhodes has been portraying himself as a probable martyr. At an anti-immigration event in Texas final weekend, he informed the viewers: “I may go to jail soon. Not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes. There are some Oath Keepers right now along with Proud Boys and other patriots who are in D.C. who are sitting in jail denied bail despite the supposed right to a jury trial before you’re found guilty and presumption of innocence, were denied bail because the powers that be don’t like their political views.”

He additionally claimed innocence for his members. “If we actually intended to take over the Capitol, we’d have taken it, and we’d have brought guns,” Rhodes mentioned. “That’s not why we were there that day. We were there to protect Trump supporters from antifa.”

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