Audio Reveals Oath Keeper Boss Craved Violence Before Jan. 6




  • In Politics
  • 2022-10-04 17:54:33Z
  • By The Daily Beast
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo  

Days after Joe Biden was declared the victor of the 2020 presidential election, Stewart Rhodes and fellow members of his far-right militia group talked like they were going to war.

"We're not getting out of this without a fight. There's going to be a fight," the founder of the Oath Keepers said in a recording of the Nov. 9 meeting revealed in federal court on Tuesday. "But let's just do it smart, and let's do it while President Trump is still commander in chief."

Later in the meeting, Rhodes warned the group-which prosecutors say was composed of Stop the Steal diehards determined to keep Trump in the White House no matter what-to have "discipline" when discussing their plan and thoughts about the election.

"Don't make it easy for them to pop you with a conspiracy charge," Rhodes added.

Federal prosecutors now say that the two-hour meeting, which was secretly recorded by an attendee and passed along to the government, was the start of a concerted planning process to stop the election certification of Biden's win over Trump on Jan. 6, 2021. The argument is at the crux of the seditious conspiracy case against Rhodes and four other Oath Keepers members on trial for their role in the Capitol insurrection. All five members have pleaded not guilty to the rare Civil War-era charge that means a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The November 2020 recording of Rhodes, prosecutors say, is the first major piece of evidence establishing a months-long plot to stage "an armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy." In the recording played in court Tuesday, Rhodes also repeatedly says that people should pressure Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, which he suggested would allow the militia to use force to fight on his behalf.

​​"If the fight comes, let the fight come. Let antifa go-if they go kinetic on us, then we'll go kinetic back on them. I'm willing to sacrifice myself for that," Rhodes said. "If things go kinetic, good. If they blow bombs up and shoot us, great. Because that brings the president reason and rationale."

Rhodes-who is not charged with entering the Capitol himself-adds in the recording that the group's mission is "going to be to go into D.C.," before noting he wants some armed members outside of the D.C. area to be "prepared to go in if they have to."

"So, if the shit kicks off, then you rock and roll," Rhodes added.

Standing trial with Rhodes are Kelly Meggs, leader of the Florida Oath Keepers chapter; member Kenneth Harrelson; Thomas Caldwell, a retired Navy intelligence officer; and Jessica Watkins, who led an Ohio militia group.

Federal authorities have described the Oath Keepers as "a large but loosely organized collection of [the] militia who believe that the federal government has been co-opted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights" and who heavily recruit former military, law enforcement, and first responders. They have repeatedly inserted themselves into unrest over police violence and other flashpoints in American life in recent years-but never garnered systematic attention from federal law enforcement until the riot.

In the recording, Meggs is heard saying that pepper spray, tasers, and stun guns are legal to bring into D.C.

"And it doesn't hurt to have a lead pipe with a flag on it," he adds.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Newt Gingrich warns Republicans that Joe Biden is winning the fight
Newt Gingrich warns Republicans that Joe Biden is winning the fight

Former speaker who led charge against Bill Clinton raises eyebrows with column heralding Democrat's first-term success

Texas man charged with threatening Boston doctor who provides transgender care
Texas man charged with threatening Boston doctor who provides transgender care
  • US
  • 2022-12-03 05:32:31Z

A Texas man was arrested Friday and charged with threatening to kill a Boston doctor who provides care to transgender people, federal prosecutors said.

Elon Musk attacks Twitter
Elon Musk attacks Twitter's prior leaders by refocusing attention on the GOP's favorite target: Hunter Biden and his laptop

Musk's hyped the reporting of an independent journalist who had access to internal Twitter emails about the company blocking of a New York Post article about...

Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Calm Oil Market Angst Over Price Cap
Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Calm Oil Market Angst Over Price Cap

(Bloomberg) -- Biden administration officials are trying to reassure oil market participants that the newly agreed $60 price cap on Russian crude won't...

Biden avoids rail strike but jeopardizes his union support
Biden avoids rail strike but jeopardizes his union support

In trying to prevent a work stoppage that could've threatened the fragile economy, Biden risks alienating his key allies: labor activists and workers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics