US Secret Service agents met members of Oath Keepers before Jan. 6 to discuss the items they would take — but the agency insists it was part of routine intelligence-gathering activities
- Secret Service members reportedly met with members of the Oath Keepers militia for their involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
- Members of the militia have been charged with incendiary conspiracy in the riots, and have apparently contacted the agency about which weapons are allowed
- “We are aware that individuals from the Oath Keepers have contacted us in the past to make inquiries,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman.
- Militia leader Stewart Rhodes reportedly had a good relationship with the agency
Secret Service agents reportedly had contact with members of the Oath Keeper militia prior to their involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, and even met some of them.
An agency official said the militiamen are occasionally contacting the Secret Service to inquire which items are allowed at rallies.
When the officers learned that the group was planning meetings, they contacted members, which is common with groups planning events.
Ties between the group and the agency were re-examined as their leader, Stewart Rhodes, claimed he had contact with officers.
Rhodes is said to have sent text messages to other members claiming that if they were called to fight by former President Donald Trump1, the Secret Service would be “happy” to help, according to evidence provided in court.
Members of the Oath Keepers stand on the eastern front of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The militia reportedly had contact with the Secret Service prior to the rally
Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, reportedly said the Secret Service would be “happy” to help if former President Donald Trump asked them to act as militia.
Testimonials from the congressional investigation into the riot and subsequent federal investigations revealed multiple links between federal agencies and various militias
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm US Capitol in Washington, DC
“We are aware that individuals from the Oath Keepers have contacted us in the past to make inquiries,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
“We are aware that individuals from the Oath Keepers have contacted us in the past to make inquiries,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service. CNN.
“If he calls us up as militia, I think the Secret Service would like us there,” Rhodes wrote, according to prosecutors. He claimed that there were positive contacts between the bureau and the militia.
Another former leader of the Oath Keeper, John Zimmerman, testified that he believes Rhodes was already in contact with the agency in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Zimmerman said Rhodes was in contact to determine which weapons they would be allowed to carry, and repeatedly told him he was in contact with officers.
Although Zimmerman has not yet been charged with a crime, he claimed that members of the Oath Keeper were charged with seditious conspiracy in the riots that gathered in North Carolina while he was leader there.
Testimonials from the congressional investigation into the riot and subsequent federal investigations revealed multiple links between federal agencies and the militias and groups that attended the meeting.
The news comes as new videos show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer frantically calling elected officials and military leaders for help while lawmakers hid in a safe location.
“Why don’t you have the president tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General, under your law enforcement responsibility?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can be heard asking:
A pro-Trump mob enters the US Capitol Building during the riots
The video compilation shows Pelosi calling Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and begging for National Guard support, while watching on TV Donald Trump’s supporters break into the Capitol.
“It’s just awful, and all at the instigation of the President of the United States,” Pelosi said in the video.
It marks the first time video has been shown of the frenetic hours lawmakers hid in undisclosed locations while police grappled with the crowd.
The new, disturbing footage came at the close of the hearing, where the panel voted unanimously 9-0 to subpoena Trump to testify under oath and hand over documents related to the Capitol riot.