November 27, 2022

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Sex, guns and sedition: Prosecutors describe Oath Keeper road trip to D.C.

In the third 7 days of the government’s scenario versus Rhodes and Oath Keepers Kelly Meggs, Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell and Kenneth Harrelson, prosecutors are attempting to fill in their extensive proof about the group’s cache of arms and how it methodically prepared to deliver them to D.C. ahead of Congress’ Jan. 6 session to certify the 2020 election benefits.

Dozens of Oath Keepers arrived to Washington that day, and extra than 20, such as Rhodes, had been noticed on the Capitol grounds as a professional-Donald Trump mob stormed the setting up. Even though Rhodes didn’t enter the developing himself, two groups of his allies — including Meggs, Watkins and Harrelson, surged inside of with the crowd when clad in military services-design and style garb. Back at the Comfort Inn, Oath Keeper Ed Vallejo — who is also billed with seditious conspiracy and will be experimented with in November — stood completely ready for orders to transportation the weapons into Washington, both by van or by boat.

Between the new aspects: Surveillance footage taken from the Ease and comfort Inn displaying Watkins, Caldwell and yet another Oath Keeper, Donovan Crowl, saluting each individual other hours soon after returning from the mob riot at the Capitol. The footage confirmed associates of the Oath Keepers hauling substantial carts of scenarios that prosecutors say contained weapons into their resort rooms.

Prosecutors also confirmed the jury a new collection of textual content messages despatched between leaders of the group as they traveled to Washington in the times right before Jan. 6. It showed them very carefully coordinating their destinations and strategies as they converged on Washington, with some halting at prearranged outposts outside Washington on the way.

Amid that vacation, prosecutors uncovered messages amongst Rhodes and Kellye SoRelle, an attorney who Rhodes has claimed served as the group’s typical counsel — but who prosecutors say did not act in that potential — participating in sexually explicit banter.

“Speaking of fucking … if you need to have some appear around,” Rhodes wrote to SoRelle on Jan. 2, 2021. SoRelle replied that she could not but following a lengthier trade mentioned, “You’re also superior at what you do. Complete negative boy factor. I am a damn moth to a [flame emoji]. I seriously am replaying my teenage many years.”

The messages underscore the individual romance amongst Rhodes and SoRelle even as some of the defendants have sought to hold some of her messages excluded by declaring legal professional-client privilege.

Prosecutors also sought to go on undercutting a crucial protection of the Oath Keepers — that they were being in Washington only to serve as protection facts for VIPs attending professional-Trump rallies, not as component of any plan to disrupt the tranquil transfer of power.

DOJ attorneys performed quite a few audio segments of a podcast joined by two Arizona Oath Keepers, Vallejo and Todd Kandaris, on the early morning of Jan. 6. The pair explained their presence in Washington as portion of an effort and hard work to forcibly prevent Biden from having business office.

“We are the last look at and equilibrium to this procedure,” Kandaris explained. “Is there a ‘shot heard round the world’ minute? The chance absolutely exists.”

Kandaris has not been billed.