WASHINGTON — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes wrote a message supposed for former President Donald Trump within the days after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, calling upon Trump to invoke the Riot Act to remain in energy and arrest members of Congress.
“Should you don’t then Biden/Kamala will flip all that energy on you, your loved ones, and all of us. You and your loved ones might be imprisoned and killed,” Rhodes wrote in a message offered in courtroom on Wednesday. “You and your youngsters will die in jail.”
The message, which additionally known as for Trump to have members of Congress and state legislators arrested, was not delivered to the then-president.
Jason Alpers, a authorities witness within the Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial, testified concerning the message on Wednesday. Alpers stated he had a recording machine in his pocket that was disguised as a thumb drive when he met with Rhodes on Jan. 10, 2021, only a few days after the Jan. 6 assault. Alpers stated he bought the recording machine on his personal and had beforehand used it. Alpers testified that he was not engaged on behalf of a federal legislation enforcement company when he made the recording.
Alpers, the proprietor of a software program improvement firm and a former particular operations operator who deployed abroad, stated he began speaking with the FBI months after the assault on the Capitol and his assembly with Rhodes. Alpers testified on the stand that he had connections to Trump’s inside circle and stated he might get a message to Trump “not directly.”
When he met with Rhodes on Jan. 10, he had Rhodes kind a message supposed for Trump on his cellphone. Alpers finally didn’t ship the messages to Trump or any of Trump’s associates, he testified.
“You need to do as Lincoln did,” Rhodes wrote within the message. “He arrested congressmen, state legislators, and issued a warrant for SCOTUS Chief Justice Taney. Take command like Washington would. … Go down in historical past because the savior of the Republic, not a person who surrendered it.”
“I’m right here for you and so are all my males. We are going to come assist you if you happen to want us. Army and police. And so will your hundreds of thousands of supporters,” Rhodes wrote.
Alpers stated he disagreed with the trail Rhodes was laying out, so he didn’t ship the messages.
“It could have wrapped me into agreeing with that ideology indirectly, which I didn’t,” Alpers stated. “I didn’t need to get entangled.”
Rhodes and 4 different Oath Keepers — Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell — are at present on trial for seditious conspiracy for his or her actions on Jan. 6. The Justice Division alleges that Rhodes and members of his group plotted to oppose the peaceable switch of energy and stockpiled weapons in “fast response forces” simply outdoors of D.C. that may very well be introduced into town at a second’s discover. Different members of the alleged conspiracy will go on trial in November.
Prosecutors on Wednesday additionally performed some recordings of Rhodes that Alpers captured, together with audio of the Oath Keepers founder speaking about civil warfare within the wake of the Jan. 6 assault.
“Struggle’s coming, I’m not f—ing dwelling on my knees, no f—ing approach. … We’re simply the tip of the iceberg. There’s hundreds of thousands of others that really feel the identical approach about this s— that we do,” Rhodes stated in a recording.
“How’s he need to go down in historical past? He’ll go down in historical past as the best president since George Washington if he does the suitable factor,” Rhodes continued.
Rhodes stated within the recording that his “solely remorse” about Jan. 6 was that they did not deliver firearms with them.
“We should always have introduced rifles. We might have mounted it proper then and there. I’d cling f—in’ Pelosi from the lamppost,” Rhodes stated.
Oath Keepers common counsel Kellye SoRelle beforehand instructed NBC Information that Rhodes was asking her for her Trump-world contacts within the weeks main as much as the Jan. 6 assault. As NBC Information has beforehand reported, SoRelle was in contact with Andrew Giuliani, a Trump White Home official and the son of Rudy Giuliani, after the Nov. 2020 election. SoRelle, who had a relationship with Rhodes, was charged in reference to the Jan. 6 assault in September and pleaded not responsible.
The federal government indicated on Wednesday that prosecutors would current two extra witnesses, each FBI particular brokers, earlier than resting their case.
Oath Keepers members Joshua James, Brian Ulrich and William Todd Wilson all pleaded responsible to seditious conspiracy. A number of different Oath Keepers have pleaded responsible to different prices, together with two Oath Keepers — Jason Dolan and Graydon Younger — who testified within the trial. Dolan testified that he was ready to die to maintain Trump in workplace. Whereas Younger testified that he was “appearing like a traitor” on Jan. 6, Dolan testified that he hoped to scare members of Congress.
“I needed them to be afraid of me,” Dolan beforehand testified. “In the event that they weren’t going to, in my perspective, do the suitable factor, possibly they may very well be scared into doing the suitable factor.”