Reprinted with permission from Alternet
When a mob of far-right extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, the violence wasn't carried out by one group, but a variety of groups — including QAnon, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters Militia. And according to a new U.S. Department of Justice court filing, a leader of the Oath Keepers was in touch with the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters before the January 6 attack.
The DOJ document, according to NBC News reporters Pete Williams and Rebecca Shaba, argued against the pre-trial release of Kelly Meggs — a Florida resident and Oath Keepers leader who is facing criminal charges in connection with the January 6 riot. Williams and Shaba report that the DOJ, in the memo, says that Meggs was in touch with the Proud Boys and others to plan for potential violence on January 6.
Williams and Shaba explain, "It was the first suggestion by the government that members of extremist groups were in touch with one another before arriving in Washington."
On January 6, the extremists who attacked the U.S. Capitol Building were hoping to prevent Congress from counting the votes of now-President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over then-President Donald Trump. The count, however, was delayed but not prevented, and Biden was inaugurated on January 20.
Meggs, the document alleges, "plotted with his co-conspirators to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote, prepared to use violence if necessary, and stormed the Capitol."
On Dec. 19, according to the report, Meggs posted on Facebook, "This week, I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this shit down." And three days later, on Dec. 22, Moggs posted, "Contact with PB and they always have a big group. Force multiplier."
Journalist Marcy Wheeler discusses the DOJ memo in her Empty Wheel blog, stressing that it shows the amount of coordination between different extremist groups before the January 6 attack.
Wheeler writes, "The Oath Keepers had a plan…. DOJ has now presented evidence they coordinated with two other militia groups. But the plan wasn't limited to preventing vote certification — in part, because when they traveled to D.C, they still believed that Trump or Mike Pence might make such an action unnecessary. The plan was insurrection. But that only makes it more likely DOJ will be forced to charge it as such."
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