Newly released text messages show Oath Keepers discussing Jan. 6 security for Trump allies: report

Newly released text messages show Oath Keepers discussing Jan. 6 security for Trump allies: report

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is among the 11 members of that far-right militia group that is facing federal seditious conspiracy charges because of their January 6, 2021-related activities. According to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, a “newly released trove of text messages” shows that “top members” of the Oath Keepers who have been indicted “chatted for days about providing security for some of the highest-profile figures associated with Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election.”

Rhodes and Florida-based Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs, Cheney reports, “discussed plans to provide security for figures like Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Ali Alexander and Michael Flynn on January 5 and January 6, (2021), describing potential partnerships with other groups and security details.”

“While several members of the group now facing charges notably flanked Stone on January 5 — including Joshua James, who has since pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy — the extent of the Oath Keepers’ work for other figures has been murky,” Cheney explains. “For example, Alexander indicated, in a recent statement, that the Oath Keepers never ended up providing security for him because his own January 6 event was canceled amid the chaos on Capitol grounds. But the group’s conversations reveal an easy relationship among several of the groups and entities now under scrutiny by federal prosecutors and the January 6 select committee.”

Cheney adds, “In one exchange, Meggs — identified by his handle ‘Gator 1’ — indicates he attempted to call Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, after hearing reports he had been arrested on January 4, 2021.”

The text messages, according to Cheney, were “posted” by Ed Vallejo, one of the Oath Keepers facing seditious conspiracy charges.

“Vallejo was stationed at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, VA, where prosecutors say he oversaw the group’s cache of weapons and was prepared to drive it to the Capitol if the fighting grew more intense,” Cheney reports. “Vallejo is seeking release from pretrial detention. Evidence that Meggs had a direct line to Tarrio — whose phone was confiscated by law enforcement and has now been accessed by federal prosecutors — adds new heft to the evidence of coordination among the groups. Prosecutors recently highlighted their interest in a January 5 meeting between Rhodes and Tarrio in a parking garage in Washington, D.C., shortly after Tarrio was released following his January 4 arrest.”

Federal prosecutors, Cheney notes, had “previously disclosed” text messages from Meggs that described “efforts to forge an ‘alliance’ between Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other groups like the Three Percenters.”

“In the newly released cache of messages,” Cheney reports, “Oath Keepers discuss the possibility of joining Flynn’s security detail. Rhodes noted that he had previously worked with First Amendment Praetorian, a group linked to Flynn, to protect Flynn, as well as with a group assigned to protect pro-Trump broadcaster Alex Jones, who has described relying on a group of retired police officers for his protection on January 6.”

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