The Justice Department lodged charges on Friday against six more suspected members of the Oath Keepers, adding new defendants to a case that had already accused others in the right-wing militia group of an organized plot to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6 and stop the final certification of the presidential election.
The charges, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, accused Kelly Meggs, the self-described leader of the Oath Keepers’ Florida chapter, and his wife, Connie, of joining four other militia members — including a middle-aged couple from Ohio — in a military-style “stack” that ascended a flight of stairs outside the Capitol and then broke into the building. The group of six, court papers say, worked with the three members of the Oath Keepers who were charged last month: Thomas E. Caldwell, Jessica M. Watkins and Donovan Crowl.
The new indictment against what is now a total of nine Oath Keepers represents the most significant effort by the government so far to prove that far-right extremists worked together in advance of Jan. 6 to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory and to help former President Donald J. Trump keep hold of power.
Indeed, prosecutors say, in late December, Mr. Meggs wrote a message on Facebook echoing a tweet that Mr. Trump had posted, saying that a rally in Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the results of the election would be “wild.”
“He wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying,” Mr. Meggs wrote. “He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC.” [Continue reading…]