For the first time, federal prosecutors have released communications revealing that members of the far-right Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and III Percenters militia groups coordinated and communicated ahead of the January 6 siege on the Capitol.
Arguing against a request for release from pretrial detention, federal prosecutors on Tuesday released partial communication logs between previously indicted Florida Oath Keeper leader Kelly Meggs and an unnamed individual. The logs reveal that nearly a month before the assault on the Capitol, Oath Keeper members were planning to overturn the election through violent force with fellow fascist groups.
According to government documents, in a December 19, 2020 message, Meggs boasted “this week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this sh*t down.”
Three days later Meggs wrote another message to the unnamed person, “Contact with [Proud Boys] and they always have a big group. Force multiplier.” Discussing coordinated plans to fight with possible counter-protesters on January 6 Meggs wrote, “I figure we could splinter off the main group of [Proud Boys] and come up behind them. F*cking crush them for good.”
In messages allegedly sent between December 22 and December 25, Meggs recruited another person to join him in Washington D.C. on January 6. He informed the unnamed person that he had been “named State lead of Florida today” and advised the new recruit on the provisions list for the attack on the Capitol, which included mace, gas mask, baton and a plate carrier.
In the social media messages, Meggs elaborated on the violence he foresaw for January 6: “We are gonna march with them for awhile (sic) then fall back to the back of the crowd and turn off. Then we will have the Proud Boys get in front of them, the cops will get between antifa and Proud Boys. We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them.”
Echoing statements made by Republican county officials in the aftermath of the coup attempt, in a December 26 message Meggs allegedly wrote, “Trump’s staying in, he’s gonna use the emergency broadcast system on cell phones to broadcast to the American people. Then he will claim the insurrection act.”
In a follow-up message, Meggs added, “...wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection.” On January 3, Meggs wrote to the same contact that he expected “200+” to be in DC and that he expected Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act while “...Pence announced he is going to allow the evidence to be presented to Congress. That checks all the boxes. I think this is why we were called there. Anything less would be a terrible mistake. The natives are restless.”
Meggs added, “Tell your friend this isn’t a rally!! Be very very cautious.”
The court documents also allege that between December 12, 2020 and January 3, 2021, Meggs organized and participated in approximately 10 online meetings, using GoToMeeting, that were affiliated with the Oath Keepers. Using the handle “Gator 1,” Meggs participated in meetings that were named “dc planning call,” “florida dc op planning chat” and “SE leaders DC 1/6/21 op call.”
Demonstrating the ongoing threat that Meggs represents, prosecutors also released messages from a Signal text he sent in the late afternoon of January 6.
“Ok who gives a damn who went in there... We are now the enemy of the State,” wrote Meggs. An hour later in the same chat he wrote, “We aren’t quitting!! We are reloading!!”
Meggs, 52, along with his wife Connie, 59, were among nine members of the fascistic Oath Keepers militia to be charged with conspiracy in February. The group was seen in multiple videos wearing military gear and moving in a “stack” military formation up the Capitol steps in order to break into the Capitol and obstruct Congress from certifying the election of Joe Biden as president.
So far, at least 20 members of the Proud Boys and 13 members of the Oath Keepers have been charged with crimes related to the assault on the Capitol. In an CBS interview that aired earlier this week, outgoing acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia MIchael Sherwin said that roughly “10 percent” of the over 400 cases pertaining to the siege on the Capitol involved “Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Proud Boys” and that they “did have a plan.”
It is a fact that far-right militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, the latter of which Trump infamously told to “stand back and stand by,” are teeming with current and former police and military members as well government informants and agent provocateurs.
The fact that leaders of these groups, such as Meggs, used monitored platforms such as Facebook to discuss their violent plans underscores the complicity of intelligence agencies such as the FBI in the coup attempt. It is impossible that neither the FBI, nor any of the 18 other US intelligence agencies, with their thousands of “intelligence professionals” and multibillion-dollar budgets, did not know that an attack perpetrated by violent right-wing militias on the Congress was imminent.
Even though the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, was seen on the Capitol grounds on January 6 and has been named in several court documents directing the groups actions that day, including as recently as Wednesday, Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate and former Army paratrooper, has yet to be charged.
In a separate series of messages released by prosecutors on Wednesday, indicted Oath Keepers Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins discussed their actions on January 6 and developed plans to hide out in the Kentucky mountainside should they fail to stop the inauguration of “the usurper” Biden.
The messages also detail further involvement by a “Person One,” who has been identified in previous court documents as Rhodes.
The documents discuss the first MAGA rally held in Washington D.C. on November 14, 2020. Rhodes is named in the documents as having organized a “QRF” for the event, which in Rhodes words consisted of “our most skilled special warfare veterans standing by armed, just outside DC, as an emergency QRF in the event of a worst case scenario in DC (such as a ‘Benghazi’ style assault on the White House by communist terrorists, in conjunction with stand-down orders by traitor generals.)”
This tracks with comments Rhodes made during a November 10 appearance on the fascistic InfoWars program with Alex Jones, in which he claimed, “we have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option in case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it.”
While there is no doubt that fascist militias led the charge on the Capitol and that prosecutors have charged hundreds of the foot soldiers, the actual organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rallies, Representatives Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama, have not been charged, despite the fact that they enjoy close relations with the aforementioned fascist groups.
In another revelation, CNN confirmed on Wednesday that a close associate of Georgia Republican lawmaker and QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, conservative live-streamer and influencer Anthony Aguero, was inside the Capitol on January 6.
CNN had previously reported that Aguero was on the Capitol grounds but did not confirm if he had entered the building. Footage reviewed by CNN has confirmed that he did break into the Capitol.
Aguero was also with Greene at the same Washington D.C. November 14 MAGA rally. Greene gave a speech at the event and was photographed walking off the stage with Aguero.
In a video taken while Aguero was outside the Capitol, Aguero states, “A message was sent. These politicians are not going to continue to get away with the abuse as they’ve been doing. We will continue to press on these individuals.”