Oath Keepers In Golf Carts Swerved Around Cops On Way To Jan. 6 Attack, Indictment Says

UNITED STATES - January 5: Roger Stone, former advisor to President Trump, rides in a golf cart after speaking to a group of Trump supporters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. ... UNITED STATES - January 5: Roger Stone, former advisor to President Trump, rides in a golf cart after speaking to a group of Trump supporters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
April 2, 2021 2:40 p.m.

Two men who acted as bodyguards for Roger Stone in the run-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack used a pair of golf carts to race to the attack as it happened, federal prosecutors alleged Thursday

Joshua James and Roberto Minuta had previously been charged in the Capitol riot case, but Thursday’s superseding indictment announcement added them to the growing list of Oath Keepers — now 12 total — charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress on the day it met to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 win. 

Among other things, the indictment alleges that James and Minuta participated in the larger group’s conspiracy to train in advance of the Jan. 6 operation, recruit others, travel to D.C. with “paramilitary gear and supplies,” and forcibly enter the Capitol. They’re also accused of obstructing an official proceeding and entering a restricted building or grounds.

The speedy golf cart trip happened around 2:30 p.m., according to indictment, after multiple phone calls between Minuta and Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes — referred to as “Person One” — and James and someone referred to as “Person Ten.” 

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“Patriots are storming the Capitol building; there’s violence against patriots by the D.C. Police; so we’re en route in a grand theft auto golf cart to the Capitol building right now,” Minuta allegedly stated as he, James and unidentified others rode in a pair of golf carts to the Capitol, according to the indictment. 

“It’s going down, guys; it’s literally going down right now Patriots storming the Capitol building… fucking war in the streets right now… word is they got in the building… let’s go.” 

The drive at times included “swerving around law enforcement vehicles,” the indictment said, and lasted all of three minutes before Minuta, James and the others parked the golf carts near the intersection of Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest and continued on foot. 

After a 49-second call between James and Person Ten, according to the indictment, Minuta, James and others aggressively berated and taunted law enforcement officers in riot gear guarding the perimeter of the Capitol. At 2:35 p.m., the “stack” of Oath Keepers moved toward the Capitol, eventually forcibly entering the building around 2:40 p.m., prosecutors have alleged. 

Minuta, James and others followed through the same east side Rotunda doors at around 3:15 p.m, according to the indictment. 

Their breach apparently didn’t last long: Four minutes later, Minuta allegedly exited the building, yelling at a law enforcement officer that “All that’s left is the Second Amendment!” The indictment doesn’t specify when James left the building, but sometime after 4 p.m., Minuta, James and others in the alleged Oath Keepers conspiracy gathered with Rhodes and Person Ten outside the Capitol building.

Rhodes, though he’s denied wrongdoing, has acknowledged that federal prosecutors seem to have their eyes on him. 

At a rally near the U.S.-Mexico border last week, speaking a couple hours after the chair of the Texas GOP, Rhodes said “I may go to jail soon. Not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes.” 

“If we actually intended to take over the Capitol, we’d have taken it, and we’d have brought guns,” he added. “That’s not why we were there that day. We were there to protect Trump supporters from antifa.”

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