WASHINGTON — A member of the Oath Keepers who introduced an AR-15 to a Virginia resort on the eve of Jan. 6 described coming into a room crammed with a big stash of weapons in a seditious conspiracy trial on Wednesday.
The Oath Keeper, Terry Cummings, testified that there have been “quite a lot of firearms instances” within the resort room when he dropped off his weapon on the Consolation Inn in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan. 5, 2021.
“I had not seen that many weapons in a single location since I used to be within the army,” Cummings stated.
Prosecutors allege that the stockpile — which they’ve referred to as a “fast response pressure” or “QRF” — had been staged as a part of a plan to oppose the peaceable switch of energy.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes is on trial for seditious conspiracy alongside 4 different Oath Keeper associates: Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell. Different members of the alleged conspiracy will go on trial in November.
Rhodes had urged former President Donald Trump to invoke the Revolt Act and referred to as upon members of the Oath Keepers to assist cease the peaceable switch of energy.
After Jan. 6, Rhodes stated he regretted not bringing weapons into D.C. on the day of the riot, federal prosecutors stated. One other Oath Keeper beforehand advised the court docket that Rhodes tried unsuccessfully to achieve Trump on the night time of Jan. 6.
Cummings, a veteran of the Air Nationwide Guard who testified underneath a subpoena, stated that he didn’t hear any speak about storming the Capitol, and he believed that he would solely use his weapon in a protection measure. He stated he was conscious of the strict gun legal guidelines in Washington, D.C., and noticed no Oath Keepers carrying weapons within the metropolis on the day of the riot.
Cummings, who claims he joined the Oath Keepers in 2020 as a result of he was involved about riots taking place across the nation and “assaults by Antifa,” stated he determined to go to D.C. on Jan. 6 as a result of “it was a possibility” to precise his First Modification rights.
“I personally didn’t suppose it was a good suggestion to enter,” he stated.
Cummings recalled that he began his day on Jan. 6 offering safety for unnamed VIPs on the Trump rally on the Ellipse, which preceded the riot. He stated he and different members of the Oath Keepers had VIP passes to the rally and needed to undergo Secret Service safety strains to get round 20 yards away from the stage.
John Zimmerman, a former member of the Oath Keepers, testified final week that Rhodes had advised him he had a contact within the Secret Service and that he heard Rhodes talking with somebody he believed to be a Secret Service agent a couple of months earlier than the Capitol riot.
Cummings testified that he and another Oath Keepers left the rally earlier than Trump completed talking as a result of they have been referred to as to escort an unnamed Hispanic feminine VIP in the direction of the Capitol. Whereas the group of roughly 10 individuals have been escorting the lady, Cummings stated he heard from Meggs that the Capitol had been breached, and the group determined to go away the lady with an Oath Keeper guard and proceeded to the Capitol.
After they arrived on Capitol grounds, Cummings stated he had to make use of the toilet and have become separated from the group. He stated that he later realized after he met again up with the group that that they had entered the Capitol constructing throughout the time they have been separated.
Beneath cross examination, Cummings stated a number of instances that he by no means heard of any plans for the Oath Keepers to enter the Capitol. “There have been no conversations regarding storming the Capitol,” he stated.
He additionally testified that he had contributed to on-line donation accounts for each Harrelson and Meggs.