Oath Keepers founder swapped calls with members during Capitol attack

Stewart Rhodes made numerous calls with three members of the far-right group, prosecutors say in new indictment

The founder of far-right group the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, his lieutenant, and three members of the militia who guarded the Donald Trump ally Roger Stone swapped numerous phone calls in a three-hour period on 6 January when the Capitol was attacked by a mob, prosecutors said on Thursday.

These exchanges coincided with the initial assault on police barricades outside Congress, and continued into when the three guards breached the US Capitol building, according to the Washington Post.

Prosecutors made this claim in a new indictment, which added two of these guards – Joshua James and Roberto Minuta – to an ongoing Oath Keepers conspiracy case. James and Minuta were both previously charged.

The case has 12 defendants, who are facing charges such as conspiracy, and obstruction of an official proceeding. Four of these co-defendants, including James and Minuta, have yet to enter pleas. The others have pleaded not guilty.

“In response to a call for individuals to head to the Capitol after the building was breached, James and Minuta drove to the Capitol in a golf cart, at times swerving around law enforcement vehicles, with Minuta stating, ‘Patriots are storming the Capitol … so we’re en route in a grand theft auto golf cart to the Capitol building right now … it’s going down guys’,” federal prosecutors said.

Rhodes has previously denied there was a plan to breach Congress and insisted that authorities were trying to establish a bogus conspiracy. “I may go to jail soon, not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes,” he remarked to Texas Republicans during a recent rally in Laredo.

Rhodes also implored ex-president Trump’s supporters to “not cower in fear”, maintaining that federal authorities were “trying to get rid of us so they can get to you”. Rhodes also reportedly said: “If we actually intended to take over the Capitol, we’d have taken it, and we’d have brought guns.”

Neither Rhodes nor Stone have yet been accused of wrongdoing, the Post noted.


Victoria Bekiempis

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Four more Oath Keepers indicted for participating in Capitol attack
New indictment is part of a larger criminal conspiracy case that now includes 19 members of the far-right group

Edward Helmore

31, May, 2021 @1:16 PM

Article image
Capitol attack investigators zero in on far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys
Panel appears to believe militias coordinated to physically stop certification of Joe Biden’s election victory on 6 January last year

Hugo Lowell in Washington

08, Apr, 2022 @7:30 AM

Article image
Panel to connect Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol attack conspiracy
Sources say investigators intend to show far-right militias coordinated in effort to storm US Capitol on January 6 last year

Hugo Lowell in Washington

09, Jun, 2022 @5:08 PM

Article image
Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were in touch before US Capitol attack, texts reveal
The messages could strengthen a theory being explored by the House committee that January 6 included a coordinated assault

Hugo Lowell in Washington

19, Apr, 2022 @5:39 PM

Article image
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes found guilty of seditious conspiracy
Jury convicts leader of rightwing group which supported Trump’s attempt to overturn 2020 election

Guardian staff and agencies

30, Nov, 2022 @3:11 PM

Article image
House Capitol attack committee subpoenas far-right leaders and groups
New subpoenas aim to uncover whether there was any coordination between the groups and the White House

Hugo Lowell in Washington

23, Nov, 2021 @9:30 PM

Article image
Oath Keepers founder accused of ‘armed rebellion’ on January 6 at trial
Stewart Rhodes and four associates face the rare civil war-era charge of seditious conspiracy for attacking the US Capitol

Guardian staff and agency

03, Oct, 2022 @10:21 PM

Article image
Extremist groups continue to ‘metastasize and recruit’ after Capitol attack, study finds
The report says that while some groups were gripped with paranoia by the arrests, others began targeting local politics

Sergio Olmos

04, Jan, 2022 @6:56 PM

Article image
Oath Keepers to stand trial on charges of seditious conspiracy
Group allegedly discussed paramilitary training and ‘quick reaction force’ to get weapons to Capitol quickly on January 6

Edward Helmore

02, Oct, 2022 @9:00 AM

Article image
Far-right militia group membership surged after Capitol attack, hack shows
Hundreds of people joined Oath Keepers or renewed membership after many of group’s members participated in riot

Jason Wilson

01, Oct, 2021 @9:00 AM