Oath Keepers Seditious Conspiracy Trial
October 10, 2022 4:57 AM   Subscribe

The seditious conspiracy trial of nine Oath Keepers (WaPo archive.today) over their actions during the January 6, 2020 assault on the U.S. Capitol began last Monday, October 3, 2022 in Washington, DC and resumes today. Here’s a list of ongoing CNN coverage including their summary Takeaways from week 1, Holmes Lybrand & Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN, Oct 7 2022. The trial may take four to six weeks. More about the Oath Keepers militia at Wikipedia.
posted by cenoxo (46 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
The wiki link is useful for clearing up what the oath is about, the constitution apparently. I somehow got the idea these were the same people who were saving it for marriage.
posted by biffa at 5:02 AM on October 10, 2022 [12 favorites]

That would be the Promise Keepers, biffa.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:34 AM on October 10, 2022 [19 favorites]

Not blaming you, cenoxo, but I'm very tired of these people being allowed to choose their own terms. They are not a militia and the media should stop referring to them as such. They use fear, weapons, threats, and violence to achieve political goals. They are terrorists.
posted by dobbs at 5:47 AM on October 10, 2022 [79 favorites]

From the takeaway article:
The evening after the Capitol attack on January 6, an alleged leader of the group, Caldwell, wrote in a separate group chat that, “If we’d had guns I guarantee we would have killed 100 politicians.”

Oh, but guns don’t kill people, you say? If we took away people’s guns they would just find another way to kill, you say???

Sorry, I know this is a tangent and I should expect this kind of hypocrisy from an extremist cult, but that part just really stood out to me. I remember watching news coverage on January 6th and reporters mentioning rumors of attempted transport of cached arms, but it quickly got overwhelmed by everything else going on.

Everything I’ve learned about changing minds and deprogramming since 2016 (hrrmmm I wonder what happened in 2016) says that you have to lessen the fear of shame and reprisal for people sucked into these groups to break away. But oh, how I want them to feel shame, and experience even a fraction of the fear their groups cause in me. So I’m just going to leave the soft landings to other people, if they’re out there. Everybody makes mistakes and I’m one of the first to decry purity culture in any given conversation, but how can you look at the history of this group, or the semi-recent discourse, and think “Hrmm seems like some cool dudes, definitely want to join their chorus line.”

I know it’s vulnerable people, who are steeped in a culture where vulnerability is not allowed, and so they turn to groups with clear leaders and rules and lots of regular activities. But like, that could also describe an intramural sports league, instead of a goddamn seditious armed cult.
posted by Mizu at 6:48 AM on October 10, 2022 [25 favorites]

That would be the Promise Keepers, biffa.

Thanks. I'm going to take that as in the right ballpark.
posted by biffa at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

I know it’s vulnerable people

Bullshit. I knew one of these fuckers when I served in the military. He was a religious (and therefore favored as a "good guy") veteran from a stable family with every white boy advantage you could imagine.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:58 AM on October 10, 2022 [27 favorites]

"Vulnerable" as in "soft in the head and easy to manipulate", not "vulnerable" as in "preyed upon by societal power structures"
posted by FatherDagon at 8:11 AM on October 10, 2022 [13 favorites]

Vulnerable to loss of privilege
posted by acb at 8:15 AM on October 10, 2022 [26 favorites]

Does anyone know whether the the jury has been sequestered and kept anonymous? I sincerely worry about them and their families if not. Not that any harm would be done, but these slime are experts at intimidation.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:32 AM on October 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

That would be the Promise Keepers, biffa.

My head has gone there more than once. Each time, it makes me wonder why the Oath Keepers didn't realize there would be confusion.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:33 AM on October 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

...it makes me wonder why the Oath Keepers didn't realize there would be confusion.

I suspect the Venn diagram of those two has a pretty serious overlap, anyway. It's probably best to think of the Promisers as a farm league for the Oathers.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:40 AM on October 10, 2022 [10 favorites]

> how can you look at the history of this group, or the semi-recent discourse, and think “Hrmm seems like some cool dudes, definitely want to join their chorus line.

So, my working theory is that a certain percentage of humans are wired as contrary. In models of evacuation of buildings, no matter how good your signage and pathing, a few people will run towards the fire, or the wrong way, or what have you. Most people won't do that, and safety measures help, but... It's safe to assume being contrary is a species trait.

Additionally, we are often fascinated and fixated with awful people or behavior. Media reporting on suicide, for example, has best practices to avoid the Werther Contagion effect.

I don't think this is all bad- it creates a space to reject rigid moral norms on stuff it has been good to reject- despite full bore Hays Code propaganda that being gay is the height of villainy, all that led to was internalizing the #aesthetic. But, it can also go septic, for example on the one hand us rehabilitating vampires or people we previously had a war with isn't bad, but us using Nazis as a villian shorthand for almost a century makes it easy for people to cover the power of being that when they want to feel powerful.

So if your have an entitled pile of Merkin lice feeling anxious about flexing control, being a hated minority is a feature, not a bug to them.

As a related note, Natalie of Contrapoints has a core purpose (among her other reasons) of figuring out rhetorical deflation and inflation of our esteem or fear of different populations. Hence her deep dives into incels or the trans experience, she is doing it as a form of external identity redefinition and anchoring.

For the average mefite, being an Oath Keeper is inexplicable, because nothing on that script promises it would validate what we want to be or have. I am comfortable saying we average much better on the stuff we morally value, but I imagine we attach our power fantasies and grievances to something else, aesthetically, too. And I suspect if you asked an Oath Keeper why we align ourselves with what we do, we are equally alien to them.
posted by Phalene at 8:47 AM on October 10, 2022 [8 favorites]

Southern Poverty Law Center Statement on Oath Keepers Seditious Conspiracy Trials, September 28, 2022:
MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Susan Corke, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) Intelligence Project, released the following statement ahead of the start of U.S. v. Rhodes, the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes [SPLC individual profile & history] along with members of the group [SPLC group profile & history], Caldwell, Harrelson, Meggs and Watkins, accused of seditious conspiracy.

"Our democracy suffered a terrible, deadly attack on Jan. 6, 2021, when hard-right extremists and supporters of former President Trump joined together in an effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power through violence and intimidation, hoping to allow Trump to remain in power despite losing the election.

"While this trial seeks to determine their guilt on seditious conspiracy charges, there is no doubt that members of the Oath Keepers group played a key role in the planning and organizing around the Jan. 6 insurrection. Oath Keepers leadership and activists acted as a violent vanguard to direct the energy of other protesters into attacking the Capitol and disrupting the transfer of power – by force.

"It is of the utmost importance that they, and all those who helped plan and perpetrate the attack on Jan. 6, be held accountable. It is essential that anyone responsible for the attempt to undo a democratic election must face the full range of consequences for their actions.

“Without such accountability, our democracy will continue to be at risk with false and nefarious attacks on our elections and voting rights as they are right now — by some of the same actors who were involved in Jan. 6. We must do everything we can to prevent that and to protect free and fair elections to ensure a truly inclusive democracy.”
posted by cenoxo at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2022 [7 favorites]

They aren't soft in the head, they are hard in the head and they've chosen truly despicable things to believe, they were eager to absorb and internalize such hatred and they went looking for it and found it in abundance. The softest head in the world can see their ideologies, methods, philosophy, words, and actions are outright evil.

Oath Keepers aren't alien to me, I understand them perfectly, they are bad people who have chosen bad values even though they have every opportunity in the world to learn and be good people instead, they've taken active effort to dive into the deep end of cruel anti-human behaviour.

Sometimes it's noble to want to understand others, to bend-over backwards until your back snaps to find rationalization or explanation for another's unacceptable behaviours. I get the urge to empathize & understand, but these people will never do the same for you and given the chance would try and use the opportunity to hurt you or worse. They also know this tendency and will take advantage of it. I'm just tired of doing it.

These folks don't want to participate peacefully in society, don't want to move it forward, so let's just remove them from it, plenty of room in prison for em.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:05 AM on October 10, 2022 [21 favorites]

Does anyone know whether the the jury has been sequestered and kept anonymous?

The Post had an article about the jury with enough detail to make it seem like they're not anonymous, but it doesn't say anything about whether they're sequestered:
Jurors include many everyday Americans familiar with the law, politics and government, including employees of the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Transportation Security Administration and Government Accountability Office, as well as of defense contractor Northrop Grumman and consulting giant Deloitte. Jurors include a risk analyst, patent and administrative lawyers, and a litigation consultant for large banks.
I have more than a passing interest in this jury because I received a summons for jury service in the same court in November. But I'm also guessing that I'll be excused during voir dire if the questions are anything like the questions asked during this trial:
“Is there a tax credit or something for lawyers who live here or something?” the Baltimore defense lawyer for Caldwell, David W. Fischer Sr., joked at a lighthearted moment Thursday. “Is it mandatory for every person to attend a protest?”

The remark was in response to the 150-member jury pool’s answers to one of many questions aimed at vetting out political bias in the trial. It turns out that many Washingtonians have recently attended demonstrations, particularly the 2017 Women’s March and recent rallies after the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights decision over turning Roe v. Wade, judging from answers in court. None said they attended Trump’s post-election rallies falsely claiming the massive election fraud.

About one quarter of prospective jurors questioned were excused, including some who said they understood the Oath Keepers to be racist, to be “doomsday preppers” or to have engaged in violence in the Capitol.
If you're only barely paying attention these next few months will be pretty confusing. There's a second set of defendants in this case scheduled to go to trial in November, another set of Oath Keepers who are defendants in a different trial scheduled for February 1, and then there's also the Proud Boys, one of whom just pleaded guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge, and is probably a cooperating witness in a different upcoming trial.
posted by fedward at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2022 [10 favorites]

worth noting remnants of convoy (morphed into post convoy "1776 restoration movement" before shattering into semi-independent pieces after rebuffed from occupation of national mall) have joined ashli babbit's mom's ongoing protest outside the dc jail where many of these seditionists have been held pending trial.

several participants have been hanging outside the courthouse, with at least one (you may recall the streamers who chased fanone after his last appearance at congressional j6 hearings) suggesting, during jury selection, that potential jurors look like "feds" or welfare recipients or both, and should be investigated by her allies and presumably sedition-adjacent viewers.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:09 AM on October 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

how can you look at the history of this group, or the semi-recent discourse, and think “Hrmm seems like some cool dudes, definitely want to join their chorus line.

A play I worked on years ago might address this; it's a powerful one-man show, a monologue from a casual member of a militia group who has since reformed. The premise is that he's been sought out by a reporter who's doing a "where are they now" story and sought him out. At some point he discusses what might drive someone to become a militia member:
Imagine you: a simple citizen, a hard-working if reluctant payer of taxes, not much money in either pocket or bank. But your one great anchor [...]is that you are one of the people in one of the greatest countries.

But around you - it is all crumbling. Someone burns a flag and the courts say "No problem - artistic expression." The cities, in meltdown. The schools, free-fire zones. Your paycheck, barely half what it was 30 years ago. Politicians - your government, the people you hired to care for your democracy - just a big bunch of fubars.

[...] So - American Dream? Hah! American nightmare. Everything right and good now trashed and smithereened, sold to the highest bidder. [...] The seethe, the bile, the pure anger of betrayal - what would you do with all of that in your gut? You might think and brood and search for answers. Not all of it is by chance - there has to be a rhyme to it. And then - of course! There is an US - the GOOD US - and there is a THEM - the Money Power or the elite or the politicians sucking corporate dick or the one-worlders at the UN, the parasite multinationalists and the gutless media, the hordes leaking through the borders - and suddenly this lightbulb called "Conspiracy" shines a constant and befriending light.

Once this "truth" emerges [...] it demands action. I must protect the Constitutions' Second Amendment to protect my country. I must study and learn so that the Fubars won't full me again. I must dig down, root out, find how deep the rot goes. I must learn military self-disciplne to protect myself. I must prepare myself for Armageddon for I have seen Waco and Iraq. I wait in the dark.
I have abridged somewhat; if you follow my link to the script, it starts on page 3 and runs to the middle of page 4.

....The whole play is worth a read. We staged it in about 2009 at New York's Fringe Festival, and in 2016 I reached out to the team about reviving it but they were all too depressed by the current state of politics.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on October 10, 2022 [13 favorites]

should add, scott macfarlane (@macfarlanenews) and jordan fischer (@jordanonrecord), probably among others i've overlooked, have been covering proceedings pretty well on twitter.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:27 AM on October 10, 2022

several participants have been hanging outside the courthouse, with at least one (you may recall the streamers who chased fanone after his last appearance at congressional j6 hearings) suggesting, during jury selection, that potential jurors look like "feds" or welfare recipients or both, and should be investigated by her allies and presumably sedition-adjacent viewers.

It just so happens that I recently finished a term serving on a grand jury in DC Superior Court*, which is run by the United States Attorney's office. We were specifically instructed to remove our juror badges before leaving the building, partly to avoid this sort of crap.

* DC Superior Court is distinct from the US District Court for the District of Columbia. US District Court prosecutes violations of federal law or crimes committed on federal property; even though it's administered by the US Attorney's office DC Superior Court prosecutes violations of DC statutes and offenses committed on land in DC not specifically administered as federal property. The January 6 trials are almost all happening in US District Court as the crimes were violations of federal law (crossing state lines to do whatever crime, seditious conspiracy, etc) and/or happened on federal property (the Capitol building). Serving on a jury in one system doesn't excuse you from duty in the other, which is how I've managed to get called for both just a few months apart. Yay.
posted by fedward at 11:30 AM on October 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

It seems a glaring miscarriage of justice for the conspiracy trial to let members of Trump's Secret Service go, who apparently were in contact with Oath Keeper terrorists before and on January 6.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:09 PM on October 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

Even if we set aside the enormous problem that Secret Service members (along with members of other law enforcement agencies) tend not to be prosecuted for crimes for whatever reasons, the remaining major problems are (A) conspiracy is really hard to prove, and (2) even if prosecutors were willing to attempt a case against Secret Service members, the evidence has been deleted. The Oath Keepers are being prosecuted partly on the basis of messages recovered from Stewart Rhodes' phone. Without evidence like that, there's no conspiracy trial.
posted by fedward at 12:34 PM on October 10, 2022

yes. sometimes the patriotic sympaseditionists don't find their way around the capital very well.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:37 PM on October 10, 2022

The artist drawing of the defendants and their lawyers that I saw cracked me up. Not one of them was wearing their mask correctly.
posted by RedEmma at 12:46 PM on October 10, 2022

This morning it crossed my mind that Jan. 6 and most of the other bizarre and extreme events in American politics since 2008 can only be understood in terms of the response of white Southerners and other white supremacists to the Obama presidency.

Because for hundreds of years their greatest fear has been slave uprisings, and on Nov. 5, 2008 they woke up to find that their worst nightmare had come true: the slave rebellion had succeeded and a Black man had won the Presidency.

And since then, everything they’ve done has been of the nature of a counterinsurgency, in which they’ve dedicated themselves to overthrowing his rule and undoing everything he accomplished without regard for the rule of law or ordinary morality.

So what if their their candidate was a rapist, a career criminal, and a traitor? All that mattered was that he was the most dedicated and implacable enemy of Obama and all his works on the American political scene.

From that point of view Jan. 6 was not an insurrection, it was a necessary and expectable popular movement to maintain the restoration of legitimate White rule they had achieved in 2016.
posted by jamjam at 3:06 PM on October 10, 2022 [11 favorites]

Yeah, it's been remarked.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:23 PM on October 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

> the response of white Southerners and other white supremacists to the Obama presidency

They followed opportunity west and north. They're everywhere (and coddled in some enclaves) now.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 6:54 PM on October 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

This morning it crossed my mind that Jan. 6 and most of the other bizarre and extreme events in American politics since 2008 can only be understood in terms of the response of white Southerners and other white supremacists to the Obama presidency

... exactly as pointed out by America's Finest News Source.
posted by flabdablet at 8:00 PM on October 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I suspect the Venn diagram of those two has a pretty serious overlap, anyway.

As opposed to that category to which the idle bulk of humanity belongs: the Promise Makers.
posted by y2karl at 9:00 PM on October 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

How Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes Became a ‘Brownshirt for Trump (dailybeast), an interview with his wife.

Violence at home escalated after the Bundy standoff, which Adams told to Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson this January after contacting her to petition against releasing Rhodes from pre-trial detention. She said Rhodes would “brandish firearms in the family home to control her behavior and…physically abuse his children under the guise of participating in ‘martial arts practice.’” Adams said he choked their daughter, Sequoia, and “her greatest fear” was that Rhodes “would murder Ms. Adams and the children before committing suicide.” The court denied Rhodes bail.

🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 BELIEVE 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 THE 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 WOMEN 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
posted by adept256 at 9:02 PM on October 10, 2022 [16 favorites]

Even before the Obama presidency, I remember thinking, “white people have done our best to trash and defund and avoid basically everything that we have had to share with black people: the bus system, public education, public park systems, public pools; hell, you don’t even see public water fountains anymore. What’s gonna happen when we put a black man in charge of the Republic?”

posted by gauche at 6:14 AM on October 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

these losers are besmirching the good and noble practice of sedition
posted by jy4m at 9:18 AM on October 11, 2022

Sometime in the Obama era it became clear to me that just about everytime I asked "Why are they doing this insane thing?" The answer was racism.
posted by Mitheral at 9:32 AM on October 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

...can only be understood in terms of the response of white Southerners ...

So what if their their candidate was a rapist, a career criminal, and a traitor?

You are referring to the former guy, right? The New Yorker and his family of New Yorkers?
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 9:38 AM on October 11, 2022

Reads to me like they're referring not to TFG at all, but to people who tend to vote for TFG and his ilk in significantly higher proportions than average.
posted by Flunkie at 2:21 PM on October 11, 2022

3.25 million NY state voters chose the orange menace in 2020, more voters than Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi combined. That's 38% of NYers who picked the fascist party candidate. If Yale-educated Stewie Rhodes gets the war he wants, 38% sympathy for the insurgency is not going to end well for NY. Any analysis that concludes the infection is localized geographically has made a miscalculation.

The problem is fairly characterized as localized to white people, though, full stop. If you are white, you have people who are infected with fascism. There's no need to add qualifiers like Southern or supremacist and place the problem elsewhere.
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 6:52 AM on October 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hundreds of Massachusetts residents joined the extremist Oath Keepers. Today, many are distancing themselves. — The group’s founder Stewart Rhodes is on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government., Danny McDonald, Boston Globe, Updated October 12, 2022 [alternate archive.today link]:
…At least 530 Massachusetts residents signed up for the organization at the heart of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection between the group’s inception in 2009 and 2018, according to documents provided to the Globe by the nonprofit journalist collective Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoSecrets [*]. The state list includes police officers, military veterans, and a couple of politicians; some hinted at their military skills when they signed up.

But with the Oath Keepers’ founder Stewart Rhodes on trial for seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government, local members of the group are distancing themselves from the group’s extremism. Some said they thought it was little more than a patriotic club and they turned against the group when it became clear it was extremist.

“I thought it was just a fraternity of retired and discharged military dudes,” said Kenneth Marciano, a military veteran who was living in North Attleborough when he paid dues to the organization 10 years ago, in an e-mail. “The (expletive) they pulled on Jan 6 was disgusting. I don’t consider myself a member as I have never been active and really was only interested in the swag that they sent back in 2012.”

Experts on far-right movements say the marketing of the group as a relatively innocuous pro-Constitution organization filled with duty-bound first responders and veterans was a facade. At the heart of the Oath Keepers, they say, was always a violent and extremist militia whose ideology had undercurrents that were inherently racist and antisemitic….
*For more about DDoS see: Wikipedia > DDoSecrets; the DDoSecrets website; and the DDoSecrets ‘Oath Keepers’ page.
posted by cenoxo at 7:59 AM on October 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

3.25 million NY state voters chose the orange menace in 2020, more voters than Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi combined.
And yet somehow Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi voted for him, while New York did not.
posted by Flunkie at 1:39 PM on October 12, 2022

Leaked Oath Keepers’ Membership List Reveals Hundreds of Current & Former Law Enforcement Officers, Members of Military, and Elected Officials, ADL, September 6, 2022:
ADL also unveils interactive map displaying number of Oath Keepers members by state and position held [*]

New analysis today from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) Center on Extremism finds that the leaked membership list for the Oath Keepers, a right-wing anti-government extremist group, includes hundreds of elected officials, law enforcement officers, members of the military and first responders.

In September 2021, the non-profit journalist collective Distributed Denial of Secrets released the membership database for the Oath Keepers organization. The membership data, which includes more than 38,000 names, provides unique insight into the people who signed up for the organization over the years, and helps illuminate the extent to which the group’s anti-government ideology has permeated mainstream society.

ADL’s analysis uses the leaked data to highlight the number of individuals who signed up for or supported the Oath Keepers in key areas: elected office, law enforcement, the military and emergency services – as well as in the general population….
Key findings follow in the article.

*The interactive map is at The Oath Keepers Data Leak: Unmasking Extremism in Public Life, ADL, September 6, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 9:36 PM on October 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

My surprised face upon hearing that some who work forces do, in fact, also burn crosses.
posted by acb at 2:35 AM on October 13, 2022 [7 favorites]

Mapping Militant Organizations. “Oath Keepers.” Stanford University.
A program of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). CISAC is a research center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Last modified April 2022.

Profile contents (subtopic links on the same Oath Keepers page, with references): The “Download Full Profile as PDF” file link is not available.
posted by cenoxo at 7:07 AM on October 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oath Keepers’ alleged plans for January 6 come into focus as second week of trial comes to an end, Holmes Lybrand & Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN, October 14, 2022:
Prosecutors on Friday began connecting the disparate threads of five alleged Oath Keepers and how they prepared for January 6, 2021, in the final hours of the second week of their trial.

Over the past two weeks, the government has shown a Washington, DC, jury dozens of messages discussing a civil war, killing politicians, and the Insurrection Act as part of the Justice Department’s historic effort to prove that members of the Oath Keepers conspired to stop the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

The messages, introduced by several FBI agents, have helped prosecutors argue that the five defendants – Stewart Rhodes, Jessica Watkins, Kelly Meggs, Thomas Caldwell and Kenneth Harrelson – individually turned toward violence in the months and weeks preceding the Capitol riot. Rhodes, Meggs, Harrelson, Watkins and Caldwell have all pleaded not guilty.

Now, prosecutors have begun to show how the defendants allegedly worked together to create a clear, articulated plan to reverse what they saw as a stolen election – a key aspect of the “seditious conspiracy” charge they have brought against the group….
More in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 5:42 AM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oath Keepers Trial Rocked by Wacky Sexts Between Militia Boss and Lawyer — The case against the far-right group for its role in the Capitol riot was already disturbing. Then came evidence of what prosecutors say is an inappropriate relationship., Pilar Melendez & Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast, Oct. 17, 2022.

Attorney-client privilege only extends so far.
posted by cenoxo at 9:40 AM on October 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

To review and keep up on the Oath Keepers Trial, check author Brandi Buchman’s Daily Kos Liveblogs search results. Here’s her latest available trial liveblog from Wednesday, Nov 2, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 2:33 AM on November 4, 2022

Sedition trial bombshell: Witness says Rhodes gave him message urging Trump to take power by force, Brandi Buchman, Daily Kos Staff, November 02, 2022:
Four days after the U.S. Capitol was stormed, the founder of the extremist Oath Keepers network, Elmer Stewart Rhodes, took a meeting with Jason Alpers, a man who had access to Donald Trump. Rhodes wanted to pass a critical message along to the then-president: Trump needed to take power by force.

The intended message and details of Rhodes’ meeting with Alpers on Jan. 10, 2021, were shared with jurors at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, where Rhodes and four of his fellow Oath Keepers have been on trial for 19 days and counting.

Alpers testified under oath that he came to the meeting with Rhodes with a recording device hidden on his person. The meeting was launched with the help of Alpers’ friend, Chad Rogers, a co-founder with Alpers of the Allied Special Operations Group. Notably, that group conducted a so-called “audit” of the election results from Antrim County, Michigan, in 2020. That report was then used to try to convince Trump to have the National Guard seize voting machines.

Meeting at night in the parking lot of a closed Fry’s Electronics store in Texas, there were just a few people there besides Rhodes and Alpers, Alpers testified. That included a deeply drunk Kellye SoRelle, he added. He couldn’t recall the others. It was also his first-ever meeting with Rhodes. “The intent behind the meeting was to provide the information to President Trump,” Alpers, a military veteran who was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar, testified Wednesday.

Once cell phones were stowed in a nearby vehicle—the recording device was not found—Rhodes prodded Alpers: What did he know about Trump preparing to invoke the Insurrection Act? “I mean we heard he dropped the Insurrection Act and now we’re hearing he didn’t drop it,” Rhodes is heard saying in the recorded session.

This, Alpers explained, was a question from Rhodes about whether Trump planned to invoke the Insurrection Act so that groups like (and including) the Oath Keepers could be called to his side. Rhodes had already written two public letters urging Trump to invoke the act. Rhodes claimed the election was stolen and urged Trump to raise up Oath Keepers so the transfer of power could be stopped. Those letters were published on the Oath Keepers’ website on Dec. 14, 2020, and Dec. 23, 2020.

When Alpers told Rhodes on Jan. 10, however, that Trump was not prepared to invoke the act, Alpers offered Rhodes a small comfort. Even if it seemed like Trump wouldn’t invoke it, that didn’t mean their conversation wouldn’t be taken “to the right places” or “specifically to the head guy.”

Rhodes then asked him to take a message to the outgoing president. Alpers asked Rhodes to write it into a phone so the message would be clear and captured accurately, he testified. That message was admitted into evidence Wednesday and is shown below in its entirety:
“This is Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, Army airborne veteran and Yale Law graduate. President Trump, you can save the Republic by doing your duty as Commander in Chief.

Biden is an illegitimate Chicom puppet. He is about to get his hands on the nuclear codes and command all of our armed forces.

You must use the Insurrection Act and use the power of the presidency to stop him. And all us veterans will support you and so will the vast majority of the military.

If you don’t then Biden/Kamala will turn all that power on you, your family and all of us.

You and your family will be imprisoned and killed. Just like the Romanovs in Russia. The czar and his family were promised safety if he stepped down. He did, and they were all murdered.

You and your children will die in prison.

And us veterans will die in combat on U.S. soil fighting against traitors who YOU turned over all the powers of the presidency to.

You must do as Lincoln did. He arrested congressman, state legistlators and issued a warrant for SCOTUS Chief Justice Taney.

Take command like Washington would.

Be a Churchill, not a Chamberlain (the British Prime Minister who wanted to appease Hitler).

Go down in history as the savior of the Republic not a man who surrendered it to deadly traitors and enemies who then enslaved and murdered millions of Americans.

We wrote you two long open letters on the Oath Keepers site. Please read them for a solid game plan to save our Republic.

Here they are:

I am here for you and so are all my men. We will come help you if you need us. Military and police. And so will your millions of supporters.

Stewart Rhodes”
Alpers ultimately did not take the message to Trump…
More details in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 3:27 AM on November 4, 2022

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