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Oath Keepers Leader Tried to Call Trump on January 6th

Oath Keepers Leader Tried to Call Trump on January 6th

Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder currently facing seditious conspiracy charges, tried to speak directly with Donald Trump on the night of January 6, 2021, and implored an intermediary to tell Trump to use militia groups to stop the transfer of power, according to testimony from a fellow Oath Keepers member who spoke in court during his own hearing on Wednesday.

William Todd Wilson, another member of the far-right militia group who pleaded guilty Wednesday to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding in connection with the insurrection, said in federal court that he joined Rhodes in a suite at the Phoenix Park Hotel not far from the Capitol shortly after the attack and listened as Rhodes called an unnamed Trump intermediary on speakerphone. Wilson said the call was made just after 5 p.m., which means it would have taken place when rioters were still being cleared from the grounds of the Capitol, well after Trump tweeted a video calling the rioters “very special” but before he tweeted, at 6:01 p.m., “Remember this day forever!”

Insurrection indictment details chilling messages between Oath Keepers
[Photo by Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images]
Wilson’s statement said he heard Rhodes “repeatedly implore the individual to tell Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose a transfer of power,” Wilson and prosecutors said. The person on the line “denied Rhodes’ request to speak directly with Trump,” according to the agreed-upon statement of offense in Wilson’s case.

The previously unknown phone call with the unidentified individual appears to indicate the Oath Keepers had contacts with at least one person close enough to Trump that Rhodes believed the individual would be a good person to consult with his request.

The seditious conspiracy charge against Wilson carries up to 20 years in federal prison and is the latest in a string of recent such indictments of members of the Oath Keepers. Wilson is cooperating with the DOJ in its criminal investigation into January 6th.

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