Oath Keepers Called For Violence, Promised Armed Backup At Capitol, New Indictment Shows
Several Republican politicians, and some right-wing public figures, have tried to downplay exactly what happened, and what was intended, on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol Building, insisting that it shouldn’t be labeled an insurrection attempt, and even trying to write it off as a tour group and claiming attackers weren’t armed.
Now a new indictment shows how serious some of the participants were. The document includes details from planning carried out days, and even months, in advance by Oath Keepers members. You can see the full document at Court Listener here (PDF).
The following is an excerpt from a November 23, 2020 communication from Thomas Caldwell of Virginia to Jessica Watkins of Ohio, both named defendants.
“Once lawyers get involved all of us normal people get screwed. I believe we will have to get violent to stop this, especially the antifa maggots who are sure to come out en masse even if we get the Prez for 4 more years. Stay sharp and we will meet again.”
It wasn’t just Caldwell’s view, either. An individual named only as “Person One” is cited as saying, “You can call it an insurrection, or you can call it a war or fight,” as they urged meeting attendees to go to D.C. and wait for Trump’s orders. “We hope he will give us the orders. We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia.”
This unnamed person also says that “I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside, and to stay fully
armed and prepared to go in armed, if they have to,” supporting that the plan was always an armed attack.
Another named defendant, Kelly Meggs, is cited as having posted on Facebook on December 25th, 2020, urging anyone joining the Capitol group to bring mace and batons to dodge firearm restrictions in D.C. (though several people charged in the attack did have firearms).
In other messages, Meggs is reported to have asked others if they’re going to be carrying [firearms] and promising that an armed QRF (Quick Reaction Force) will be close by.
Oath Keepers were advised to attend a “basic training” and be “fighting fit” by January 6th, and further discussions detailed in the indictment show multiple people discussing how to successfully bring firearms into D.C., who has armed contacts near D.C. that could be called on if necessary, and where to drop off weapons.
The indictment goes on to describe the communications in which Oath Keepers recognized that neither Mike Pence nor Donald Trump was going to prevent the confirmation of the electoral vote for Joe Biden, and declared an intent to take matters into their own hands, before storming forward and breaching the building.