A January 6 conspiracy case just got even worse for this group of pro-Trump extremists - 2021-06-02
Federal prosecutors have broadened their January 6 conspiracy case against Oath Keepers, charging four additional members of the far-right militia group on Sunday in a plot allegedly involving at least 16 people to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Federal agents also recently executed a search warrant targeting the group's founder and seized his phone, an Oath Keepers attorney told Mother Jones on Tuesday.
The conspiracy case has deepened against a stark political backdrop: Just ahead of this past Memorial Day weekend, Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan commission that would investigate what led to the January 6 insurrection, a historic assault on Congress in which throngs of belligerent Trump supporters viciously attacked police, ransacked the Capitol and threatened to kill lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence. But even as Republican leaders impede further exposure of their party's role in the "stolen election" lie that fueled the attack, the case against the Oath Keepers continues to reveal the influence of that incendiary rhetoric.
According to an indictment issued by the Justice Department on Sunday, during the week prior to the insurrection, various Oath Keepers held online meetings to plan the "DC op" for January 6. They used encrypted apps and private messaging on social media to discuss preparations for a QRF, or "quick reaction force," that would be ready to launch an armed assault in the nation's capital. "[W]e have a shitload of QRF on standby with an arsenal," one defendant commented on December 31, responding to an offer from an unidentified individual to "coordinate help" from "friends not far from DC with a lot of weapons and ammo."