Stewart Rhodes Was in Touch With Secret Service Agent: Former Oath Keepers Member

3 months ago 19

WASHINGTON—The caput of the Oath Keepers was successful interaction with a Secret Service cause successful the months starring up to the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, a erstwhile Oath Keepers subordinate testified connected Oct. 6.

John Zimmerman, the erstwhile member, testified that Oath Keepers were preparing for then-President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act. Asked however they would cognize if Trump invoked the act, Zimmerman said Rhodes would apt beryllium the archetypal to larn of the development.

Rhodes didn’t person a transportation with Trump but had the fig of 1 of his Secret Service agents, Zimmerman testified successful national tribunal successful Washington.

Zimmerman besides said that Rhodes told him that astatine 1 point, helium spoke with idiosyncratic from the Secret Service.

Zimmerman has not been charged successful narration to Jan. 6.

The Secret Service did not respond to a petition for comment.

William Todd Wilson, different erstwhile Oath Keepers member, pleaded blameworthy earlier this twelvemonth to obstruction of an authoritative proceeding. Wilson, successful the connection of defense, recounted being with Rhodes successful a edifice country connected the evening of Jan. 6 and Rhodes calling “an idiosyncratic implicit talker phone.”

“Wilson heard Rhodes repeatedly implore the idiosyncratic to archer President Trump to telephone upon groups similar the Oath Keepers to forcibly reason the transportation of power. This idiosyncratic denied Rhodes’s petition to talk straight with President Trump. After the telephone ended, Rhodes stated to the group, ‘I conscionable privation to fight,'” according to the statement.

“That is accurate,” Wilson said successful his plea hearing.

The Insurrection Act enables a president to deploy U.S. troops domestically if definite circumstances, specified arsenic civilian disorder, arise.

Zimmerman told the tribunal Thursday that helium believed Trump mightiness invoke the enactment owed to determination being a “rogue government.”

“Kind of similar what we’re going done now, with Congress conscionable seeming to bash immoderate they want,” helium added.

Rhodes is 1 of the existent oregon erstwhile Oath Keepers connected proceedings for seditious conspiracy. He and his co-defendants look decades successful situation if convicted.

The Oath Keepers is simply a radical comprised of existent and erstwhile members of the military, instrumentality enforcement, and archetypal responders.

Zimmerman said what helium understood arsenic the group’s intent shifted, starring to him exiting the organization. The radical became known for providing information astatine events. He recounted Rhodes saying helium hoped Antifa and Black Lives Matter would onslaught the Oath Keepers truthful the Oath Keepers could retaliate. “That’s not what we do,” Zimmerman recounted saying successful response.

A retired Army member, Zimmerman, who lives successful North Carolina, utilized to caput 1 of the Oath Keepers chapters.

Madalina Vasiliu

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Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and satellite news. He is based successful Maryland.