Request For OathKeeper Confinement Is Chilling.
In the recent indictment of eleven OathKeepers on charges of seditious conspiracy most had already been charged with other crimes. However, two individuals were newly charged for the first time. They were OathKeeper President Stewart Rhodes and his right hand man Ed Vallejo. Last night the government filed this motion and brief in support of denying Vallejo bail and keeping him in jail pending trial. The motion provides chilling new details into the plot to violently stop the counting of electoral college votes and the continued threat from these people long after January 6th.
Vallejo did not enter the Capitol because he was in charge of a “Quick Reaction Force” (QRF) at a nearby hotel. His was one of two such forces identified.
On January 5th Vallejo and others stocked his QRF with “at least three luggage carts’ worth of gun boxes, rifle cases, and suitcases filled with ammunition.” Later large bags and bins were brought in that contained more weapons and ammunition. They also contained provisions to last for up to 30 days.
You see, the plan was to seize the Capitol, including members of Congress, and hold them for as long as a month. The motion includes these pictures of them moving stuff into the hotel room.
On the morning of January 6th Rhodes messaged the group that Vallejo’s QRF was one of several they had and one of “many, many” set up by unspecified “other groups”:
“We will have several well equipped QRFs outside DC. And there are many, many others, from other groups, who will be watching and waiting on the outside in case of worst case scenarios.”
At about the same time Vallejo appeared on an OathKeeper podcast and stated:
“We are applying as much pressure as we can. The only and obvious next step is to go into armed conflict but hoping very much that that doesn’t happen . . . Anything is on the table … the fact is there are people who are prepared, have the will, have the facilities to do more than taunt. The question is: Is there a shot heard round the world moment? The possibility definitely exists . . . “The situation we’ve got here is … it’s a do or die situation. Because if we walk away from this, and we don’t have any effectual change as a result, then we might as well just give up. We’re done. We’re done. If we don’t do something now, we’re done. Because we’ll basically have illustrated that we’ll do nothing in a tinderbox situation, and that’s it. The American people are going to be told today that we have liberty and justice for all, or they’re going to be told, ‘Fuck you.’ Okay? And if they’re told, ‘Fuck you,’ that’s going to be the declaration of a guerilla war.”
As they advanced on the Capitol Rhodes messaged the group:
“Pence is doing nothing. As I predicted … All I see Trump doing is complaining. I see no intent by him to do anything. So the patriots are taking it into their own hands. They’ve had enough.”
Rhodes then explicitly ordered his OathKeepers to advance on the Capitol and two “stacks” in an organized, military style formation began attempting to breach the Capitol. Back at the QRF, Vallejo was eager to get himself, and his heavy weapons, into the fight. At 2:24 pm he messaged the group:
“Vallejo back at hotel and outfitted. Have 2 trucks available. Let me know how I can assist.”
Less than 15 minutes later he pleaded again for the QRF to be called up:
“QRF standing by at hotel. Just say the word…”
Over the next few minutes at least one of the OathKeeper stacks successfully breached the Capitol. Vallejo messaged “We are at WAR” and attempted (but failed) to launch a reconnaissance drone.
After the Capitol was cleared Vallejo and others then plotted to return to the Capitol, heavily armed, the next day. At 7:30 that evening Rhodes messaged:
“Thousands of ticked off patriots spontaneously marched on the Capitol …You ain’t seen nothing yet. Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming.”
“We’ll be back to 6am to do it again. We got food for 30 days. We have only [begun] to fight!”
In fact, it appears that just before 6 am on the 7th Vallejo did go out “to probe their defense line” and see if they could get in.
Later that day Vallejo appeared again on the OathKeepers broadcast stating that “It’s not really plausible to non-violently protest anymore” and that the entire area around the Capitol was “quarantined.” He discussed the need to plan “next steps” focusing on January 20th, the inauguration date. Over the next week Rhodes bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of more guns, ammunition and firearms related equipment.
On January 20th another conspirator messaged the group that: “After this…if nothing happens…its war…Civil War 2.0.” On the same day Rhodes messaged the OathKeepers to organize local militias to prepare to forcibly oppose the new administration.
These guys planned the violence in advance, and when it failed they planned more violence. That commitment to violence continued until at least last month when Vallejo messaged:
“I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU … you will NEVER achieve ‘vaccine equality’ as long as I, and others like me, are alive! … I will DIE first, and that’s only when I run out of AMMUNITION!”
Reading the government’s filing it is clear how deadly close we came on January 6th to the mob including teams of massively armed men descending on the Capitol with every intention of using those weapons. It’s also clear the threat from these lunatics continued for long after January 6th.