TRAUMATIC: Oath Keepers juror shares hardest parts of the trial

TRAUMATIC: Oath Keepers juror shares hardest parts of the trial

Earlier this month, six more Oath Keepers members or affiliates were found guilty of charges stemming from their participation in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Now one juror is revealing how hard it is to participate in these cases, citing emotional manipulation by one defense lawyer and debates over the details of charges.

Identified only as “Ellen,” a juror from the most recent case spoke in a new interview on C-SPAN (full length below), sharing her experiences.

One of the hardest things she described suffering through was watching a defense attorney attack his own client, in hopes of making the man, who is autistic, break down on the stand and net him sympathy from the jurors.

The other major struggle, she says, was going over the exact details of various charges — for example, did two defendants who did not actually enter the building also obstruct Congress?

What about the difference between obstructing Congress and conspiring to obstruct Congress — or conspiring to obstruct an officer of the United States from carrying out a sworn duty?

The juror says that video evidence from outside the building helped, referring to one defendant, Bennie Parker (the eldest of the six at age 72), who didn’t enter the building —citing his arthritis — and instead gave an interview to a reporter.

Parker admitted that he believed his group was likely committing crimes but asserted that there were too many of them for law enforcement to do anything about it, rhapsodizing about the possibility of civil war, and boasting about bringing his weapons.

The juror also addressed the difficulty of dealing with older defendants, including the aforementioned Parker and his wife, Sandra, who is 63. She says:

“There was a lot of sympathy. We felt like they stumbled into something they didn’t know what they were getting into, but, here’s the most amazing thing: we had over 600 pieces of evidence, texts and tweets and videos and and and um papers to go through but here’s something that is just amazing.”
What did she find so amazing?
After returning home from the Capitol, text messages exchanged between the Parkers and Jessica Watkins, who Ellen describes as their “ringleader,” showed that they were just thrilled with themselves.
The words “on cloud nine” were used, and the participants shared their joy — up until arrests began — at which point Bennie Parker sends a text to Watkins, blaming her, asking, “What did you get my wife into in that Capitol?”
Thanks to his interview and other evidence, though, it wasn’t only Sandra Parker who “got into” trouble.

Ultimately, five defendants (Sandra Parker, Bennie Parker, Connie Meggs, Laura Steele,  and William Isaacs) were found guilty of conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding.

All of the above — except Bennie Parker — were convicted of additional felonies (obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiring to prevent an officer of the United States from discharging a duty, and destruction of government property)>

And all five, along with a sixth defendant, Michael Greene, were found guilty of the misdemeanor of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, according to a Justice Department press release.

Check out the juror’s entire interview below.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.