The Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia group, has reportedly become a major focus in the FBI’s probe into the deadly storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to the Washington Post, the Justice Department and the FBI are trying to establish a wider conspiracy indictment against members of the organization. Several Oath Keepers and their affiliates have already been charged with allegedly plotting a coordinated attack on Jan. 6 and/or breaching the Capitol building.
The Post report also confirms the New York Times’ earlier report that the feds are investigating Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. They are seeking a potential conspiracy case against him and other senior Oath Keepers, sources told the Post.
Prosecutors’ court documents in the criminal cases against the Oath Keepers and their affiliates who have already been indicted show Rhodes, who is identified as “Person One” in the filings, allegedly communicating with those individuals in the run-up to and on the day of the insurrection.
In his alleged texts, Rhodes tells the Oath Keepers that “well equipped QRFs [Quick Reaction Forces]” would be available nearby to provide backup for them, declares during then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the insurrection that “patriots are taking it into their own hands” and sends directions for the Oath Keepers to go to a particular location on the Capitol grounds during the attack.