The third week of the government’s seditious conspiracy trial against Rhodes, Meggs and three other associates finally recorded the actions of the Jan. 12 takers on a minute-by-minute basis. What prosecutors said on the 6th showed how the group’s leaders planned an “insurgency” in advance, gave the green light to violence at the Capitol and appeared to coordinate their actions with other figures pushing to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Whitney Drew, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, testified that prosecutors deployed audio, video and computer animation to immerse jurors during the day’s defendants’ actions.
Prosecutors dug up material from Kellye SoRelle, described in court as Oath Keepers’ lawyer and Rhodes’ girlfriend. SoRelle, who was recently accused of obstructing the vote count, started a four-minute Facebook livestream on the east side of the Capitol at 2:12 p.m. as crowds began to walk up the steps. The Proud Boys broke into the building on the west side at the same time, and some moved to the east, according to court records.
“It happens when people get angry and stand up,” SoRelle told followers in a video played for jurors. “That’s how you took the government back. You really took it back.”
A minute after SoRelle’s video ended, Drew testified that a group of Oathkeepers led by Meggs arrived near where Sorel’s station was. Rhodes was also close, telling an encrypted oath-keeper leading chat that it was Trump supporters, not left-wing agitators, responsible for the action. He likened the group of “angry patriots” to the “Sons of Liberty,” the American colonists who carried out the Boston Tea Party.
SoRelle had earlier hit back at an Oath Keeper member who had expressed concern about thugs breaking barriers, saying she had received a message from Rhodes: “We’re acting like the Founding Fathers, we can’t back down.”
At 2:28 p.m., Rhodes wrote, “The back door to the Capitol,” and sent it to an encrypted chat group that included Tario, Trump confidant Roger Stone, Stop Steal organizer Ali Alexander and the right Talk show host Alex Jones, according to prosecutors. Drew did not elaborate on the link, but prosecutors have repeatedly highlighted Rhodes’ information in the Friends of the Stone chat group, which is also of interest to the House committee’s Jan. 1 investigation. 6. When Rhodes sent the message, the Proud Boys were already heading east from the west of the Capitol, both inside and outside the building, according to court records.
Minutes later, Rhodes sent a message to a group of sworn-in people that people were “knocking on the door,” according to text shown in court. He then called Meggs and Michael Greene, Jan, who was charged separately and described in court as the oath-keeper. 6 Head of Operations. The three only talked for a minute on the conference call.
Investigators were unable to obtain the contents of the 2:32 p.m. call, but Drew testified that during the call, Meggs began leading his team of Oathkeepers upstairs in a single-column “stack”. Five minutes later, the door was forcibly opened from the inside, and the first member of the Oathkeeper walked in with a large crowd.
Inside the building, Ohio defendant Jessica Watkins recounted their progress on the walkie-talkie-style phone app.
“We’re on the mezzanine. We’re in the main dome now. We’re rocking,” she said, while others with her said they had taken over.
“Breaking into the Capitol,” Green wrote to an unnamed person at 3:06 p.m.
Drew also showed jurors new information until January 1. 6 Involves Rhodes, SoRelle, and other pledgers, where Rhodes explicitly calls for violence to stop Joe Biden Since taking office. Rhodes argues that the plans merely prepare for the possibility that President Trump could use his group as a legitimate militia under the Insurrection Act. But on a December. In a text message on the 10th, Rhodes said that if Trump does not act, “we will have to revolt (rebellion).”
Green and SoRelle have pleaded not guilty; Alexander, Jones and Stone have not been charged with any crime.
Rhodes’ defense attorney James Lee Bright argues the defendant’s remarks are just ‘bagging,’ the government’s criminal intent charge There are signs that oathkeepers err around the Capitol, confused and unable to be reached by phone or in person. Due to poor cell phone reception, some text messages were not received until hours later. At one point Rhodes incorrectly described himself as being on the south side of the Capitol. An oathkeeper has lost track of his car.
“All these people from out of town don’t know where they are,” Bright said. “It’s hard to guide your troops when you don’t know where they are.”
Inside the Capitol, video played in court showed that the group of sworn-in people on trial did not damage property or assault officers, although jurors saw them shove riot police to guard the Senate chamber.
As the Rapid Response Force team waited outside Washington, D.C., Bright stressed that Rhodes “never called” them and determined during cross-examination that the oath guards were not charged with violating any gun laws.
“So armed rebellion is unarmed?” Bright asked FBI agent Sylvia Hilgmann.
Hilgmann replied: “The armed rebellion is not over.”