October 7, 2022

SEDITION UPDATE: Oath Keepers founder tried to contact Trump during Jan 6th riots to get ok to “fight”

SEDITION UPDATE: Oath Keepers founder tried to contact Trump during Jan 6th riots to get ok to "fight"

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Things are not looking good for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes today after a third member of his right-wing extremist militia group pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, and implicated Rhodes in an unsuccessful call to then-president Trump in which wanted to beseech Trump “to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power,” according to court documents.

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William Todd Wilson, a 44-year-old former leader of the Sampson County, North Carolina chapter of the Oath Keepers, not only pleaded guilty to the charges during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, but he also accepted a plea deal that would force him to cooperate with the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the planning for the January 6th insurrection, making him a dangerous witness in the case against Rhodes.

The court filing in Wilson’s case accuses him of conspiring with Rhodes to “oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power,” including the accumulation of a cache of weapons “on the outskirts of Washington D.C. — some distributed across hotels and ‘quick reaction force’ (‘QRF‘) teams.” The plan was “to use them in support of their plot to halt the lawful transfer of power,” the court documents say.
Wilson follows two other Oath Keepers, Joshua James and Brian Ulrich, who have also accepted plea deals in exchange for their cooperation with prosecutors attempting to work their way up the ladder of responsibility for the treasonous plan.
Presumably, their fingers will point to Rhodes who has been in government custody since his arrest this past January and who may be able to lead prosecutors to individuals in the Trump administration who potentially helped plan and organize the violent insurrection.
Wilson’s testimony at the hearing makes clear that Rhodes was communicating with well-placed people in Trump’s circle and at least attempting to communicate with Donald Trump himself on January 6th.
The court documents outline the information that prosecutors managed to extract from Wilson as part of his plea deal for more lenient treatment from the courts.
The filing also shows the lengths to which Wilson attempted to cover up the evidence of his participation in the seditious conspiracy, including the dumping of his mobile phone into the Atlantic Ocean to prevent its incriminating contents from being used against him by law enforcement.
It is chilling to read about the Oath Keepers having inside sources within law enforcement but in truth, the organization recruited heavily within ex-military and law enforcement circles. It is estimated that two-thirds of the Oath Keepers are former military or law enforcement, and one-tenth are active duty military or law enforcement.
Rhodes has denied being involved in any conspiracy to overthrow the lawfully determined election results, but the judge overseeing his case said that the evidence against him is “compelling” and refused to release him on bail before his trial in order to preserve public safety.
Now that three of his lieutenants have pleaded guilty and cooperated with government prosecutors, the big question remains what Rhodes might do given this compelling evidence that has grown even stronger with the testimony of his former colleagues in the Oath Keepers. Will he take a plea and tell prosecutors about any incriminating contacts that he may have had with Trump administration or campaign officials?
It’s almost certain that there are many people worried about exactly that sort of full-throated singing from Rhodes happening in the near future. Let’s hope that he’s in protective custody to prevent any attempts to silence him before he decides whether to cooperate with the government or maintain his highly dubious innocence without betraying his “oath” to his execrable principles and the other traitors he may have conspired with.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Ryan J. Reilly at NBC News

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RELATED STORY: SNITCH: Tearful Oath Keeper betrays his comrades in arms in plea deal to save his own skin

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Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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