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Suspected Oath Keeper extremists brought explosives to DC area on Jan. 6 and had a ‘death list,’ prosecutors say

An Oath Keeper from Idaho in Bozeman, Montana.

William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

  • Prosecutors outlined new allegations against suspected Oath Keepers charged in relation to the Capitol riot.
  • The Friday filing claims one co-defendant of the Oath Keeper leader had a “death list.” 
  • It also claims that one purported Oath Keeper transported explosives to Washington DC on Jan. 6.

The Justice Department leveled new accusations against suspected members of the far-right Oath Keepers on Friday relating to their involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

A co-defendant of Oath Keep leader, Stewart Rhodes, had a “death list” with the name of a Georgia election official, and another co-conspirator came to Washington with explosives, they said.

Nine Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol riot. All nine have pleaded not guilty.

The new accusations are laid out in a 28-page filing, viewed by Insider, which includes evidence prosecutors plan to introduce against the Oath Keepers during their trial in September. 

Prosecutors will aim to prove that the group extensively prepared for violence and plotted to stop Joe Biden from rightfully assuming the presidency.

The new filing states that during a search of charged co-defendant Thomas Caldwell’s Virginia home weeks after the riot, a document was found with the words “DEATH LIST” handwritten across the top.

The list included the name of a Georgia election official and a purported family member of the official, both of whom had become targets of unfounded accusations of being involved in voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In a statement through his attorney, Caldwell, a retired Navy intelligence officer, denied the allegations to The Washington Post: “The DOJ’s claim that I intended to assassinate election workers is an absolute, 100% disgusting lie.” 

Prosecutors have previously accused the Oath Keepers of setting up a so-called “quick reaction force,” or QRF, outside of Washington, DC, which included firearms stashed at a Virginia hotel.

In the new filing, prosecutors further stated that there was evidence that at least one alleged Oath Keeper, Jeremy Brown, transported explosives to the Washington DC area on the day of the Capitol attack. 

The government last September also seized two illegal short barrel firearms from Brown’s residence and military ordinance grenades from his RV, which was the same vehicle he used to travel to Washington DC on the day of the riot, the filing said.

Brown has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts relating to the riot and is not one of the nine Oath Keepers to have been charged in the seditious conspiracy indictment.

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath KeepersStewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers.

Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Prosecutors also allege in the filing that co-conspirators, including Stewart Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, and Jessica Watkins, discussed and prepared for violent conflict with government actors between January 6 and Inauguration day on January 20.

Prosecutors also say two bomb-making recipes in suspected Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins’ home after a search weeks after the riot, which they say is evidence of her preparation to use force against the government. 

Watkins’ indictment alleges that she recruited several people for a “military-style basic” training class the group organized for the beginning of 2021.

A lawyer for Rhodes, Phillip Linder, told CNN that Rhodes had no knowledge of any plans for violence and did not participate in the violence at the Capitol.

Rhodes said on Friday that he would testify in front of the January 6 committee and waive his 5th Amendment rights under the condition that his testimony is broadcast live.

The Oath Keepers, a militia-styled vigilante group, recruits current and former members of the military and law enforcement and sees the current US government as illegitimate.

The group’s more mainstream members fled the group in droves after January 6, Rachel Carroll Rivas, a senior research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Insider’s Laura Italiano.

The Oath Keepers had 88 chapters at the end of 2020, Carroll Rivas said. One year after the insurrection, the number of chapters has dropped by more than half, to 39.

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