Top-ranking Oath Keepers member admits he overhead extremist group's leader attempting to contact Trump after Jan. 6 riots

Top-ranking Oath Keepers member admits he overhead extremist group's leader attempting to contact Trump after Jan. 6 riots
Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally. Far-right Oath Keepers patrol Emancipation Park. Credit: Anthony Crider https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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A top-ranking member of the far-right extremist group, The Oath Keeper, has admitted that he overheard the organization's leader, Stewart Rhodes, making multiple attempts to get in contact with former President Donald Trump in the days after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

According to CNN, William Todd Wilson, who leads the North Carolina chapter of the extremist group, divulged the information as during his plea. Wilson specified that he overheard Rhodes' conversation while he was on speakerphone, court filings reveal.

"Wilson heard Rhodes repeatedly implore the individual to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power. This individual denied Rhodes's request to speak directly with President Trump," Wilson said.

Per Wilson's court hearing, the call is said to have occurred while Rhodes, Wilson, and other members of the group were in a private hotel suite in Washington, D.C. The filing also said, "After the call ended, Rhodes stated to the group, 'I just want to fight.'"

Wilson's testimony follows Rhodes' not guilty plea entered on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. His attorneys insist they were unaware of the attempted calls to contact the former president.

Per CNN, Wilson said, "he had heard Rhodes discuss using even lethal violence to stop the congressional certification of the presidential vote." The news outlet also noted that he said, "he contributed firearms to the so-called 'quick reaction force' planned by the group that was set up in an Arlington, Virginia, hotel." According to prosecutors, that initiative "was so that members of the Oath Keepers could rush to the Capitol if called on by Rhodes."

In connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, Wilson has pleaded guilty to obstruction and seditious conspiracy. He is now the third individual to admit that he participated in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Wilson has also indicated that he will cooperate with U.S. prosecutors as they continue their investigation into the series of events that transpired on Jan. 6.

As of Thursday, May 5, 2022, a total of 9 seditious conspiracy suspects connected to the extremist organization are also awaiting trials.

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