This week the Justice Department charged six additional individuals associated with the Oath Keepers for conspiring to obstruct the United States Congress’s certification of the result of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, among other charges.
The charges are an expansion of an existing conspiracy case charging three Oath Keeper members, including Virginia organizer Thomas Caldwell in connection with the riots.
According to the superseding indictment, Kelly Meggs, one of the most recently charged individuals, is the self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers.
In late December, the indictment alleges, Meggs wrote in a Facebook message, “Trump said It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! He wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your s***!!” He went on to state, “[W]e will have at least 50-100 OK there.”
According to the indictment, around the same time, Graydon Young, another co-conspirator, allegedly arranged for training for himself and others by a Florida company that provides firearms and combat training.
The other indicted co-conspirators traveled from Ohio to Washington, D.C., with plans on potentially combining forces for the events of January 6.
The Oath Keepers are a loosely-organized collection of militia, prosecutors say, which focus on recruiting current and former military, law enforcement and first-responders.
The group believes the federal government has been “co-opted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights,” prosecutors say, and the group’s name comes from the oath of members of the military and law enforcement to defend the Constitution “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”