Oath Keeper describes the group’s large weapons cache before January 6


Cummings presented jurors with the AR-15 he brought with him and contributed to the weapons stash, along with a box of ammunition.

Justice Department prosecutors have spent much of the day – in the second week of what is expected to be a six-week trial against Rhodes and four co-defendants – revealing encrypted Signal messages between Rhodes and regional leaders. of the group to organize and activate travel plans to Washington on January 6. Many of those posts described their goal as preventing President Joe Biden from taking office and urging Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, which Rhodes said would allow the group to forcibly block Congress from certifying election results. of 2020.

“We armed Americans have a trick up our sleeve. It’s the same Samuel Whitmore [sic] used long ago, along with all the other farmers who fired the shots heard around the world,” Rhodes wrote to Georgia Oath Keepers on December 14, 2020, describing the start of the American Revolution.

In a Dec. 20, 2020 message to the same Signal chat, Georgia Oath Keeper Brian Ulrich — who has since pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy — said only action by Trump would prevent mass violence and death.

“Trump acts now maybe a few hundred radicals die trying to burn down cities,” he wrote. “Trump is sitting on his hands, Biden is winning, millions are dying resisting the death of the 1st and 2nd Amendments.”

Rhodes and his co-defendants, Kenneth Harrelson, Kelly Meggs, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell, claimed their trip was primarily for the safety of VIP attendees of Trump’s White House Ellipse speech and that their weapons cache was for support group efforts. if street violence erupted with counter-protesters on January 6. They note that they never deployed these weapons in Washington, which has strict gun laws, even after a pro-Trump mob stormed into the Capitol.

Cummings, a military veteran who is not charged with any Jan. 6 crimes, said he traveled to Washington with Harrelson and Jason Dolan, who pleaded guilty last year to his Jan. 6 actions. January, in order to support the group. security details. He recalled meeting the VIP he was assigned to protect, but said he couldn’t remember her name, only that she appeared to be a « Hispanic woman. » She remained on the northwest side of the Capitol even as members of the Oathkeepers continued to march towards the Capitol.

Cummings said that at one point, as the group was marching toward the Capitol, Meggs informed him that the building had been « breached. » He remembers Meggs asking someone if the group should enter the Capitol.

Cummings left the group after using a port-a-potty outside the Capitol and only reunited with them after regrouping outside the Capitol. He recalled that Rhodes ignored the police’s decision to start using tear gas against the rioters.

« Suck it up, » he recalled, saying Rhodes. « It’s just CS gas. »


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