Four additional members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group that took part in the storming of the US Capitol on 6 Januarie, have been indicted for participating in the event.
Court documents unsealed on Sunday named three individuals living in Florida – Joseph Hackett, 51, of Sarasota, Jason Dolan, 44, of Wellington, and William Isaacs, 21, of Kissimmee. The three appeared last Thursday before US magistrates in Tampa, West Palm Beach and Orlando. A fourth person’s name was hidden.
The four new defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress’s confirmation of the 2020 presidential election results in a joint session of Congress that was interrupted by the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Five deaths were ultimately linked to the attack.
The four Oath Keepers are each accused of forcing entry through the Capitol’s East Rotunda doors after marching up the steps wearing combat uniforms, tactical vests, helmets and Oath Keepers insignia.
The new indictment is part of a larger criminal conspiracy case that now includes 19 members of the far-right group. Members previously charged in the government’s case have pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors, members of the group attended a 9 November meeting during which the Oath Keeper’s founder Stewart Rhodes, referred to in government documents as Person One, described the attack as an insurrection.
“We’re gonna be posted outside DC, awaiting the president’s orders. … We want him to declare an insurrection,” according to documents.
Prosecutors say the Oath Keepers is a loose federation of militia groups that targets law enforcement and military members for recruitment and promotes a totalitarian vision of the government that its members believes represents a threat to American citizens.
Rhodes, who has not been charged, has claimed that the government is trying to build the action of a few members into an alleged organizational conspiracy. “I may go to jail soon, not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes,” Rhodes told Texas Republicans in March, according to the Washington Post.
The new indictment alleges that Rhodes began developing plans to keep Donald Trump in office by force six days after the presidential vote. During an online meeting on 9 November, prosecutors claim, he told some of the Oath Keepers now under indictment:
We want [Trump] to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia,” Rhodes allegedly stated.