Jessica Marie Watkins (2nd from left) and Donovan Ray Crowl (center), both from Ohio, descend the steps of the Eastern Front of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia among supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, the January 6, 2021 Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their role in the siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
Self-proclaimed leader of the Florida branch of the far-right extremist group Oath Keepers urged his supporters to travel to Washington with him on January 6 because “Trump said it was going to be wild !!!!!!” that day, court documents released on Friday revealed.
“He wants us to make him WILD, that’s what he says,” Kelly Meggs, chief of Oath Keepers, wrote in a Facebook post.
That message is detailed in a new replacement indictment accusing him and five other associates of Oath Keepers with crimes related to the Jan.6 Capitol riot by thousands of Trump supporters.
“He called us all to Capitol Hill and wants us to drive him wild !!! Mister Yes Mister !!!” Meggs wrote, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, which accuses the accused of invading the Capitol complex.
The post referred to a tweet from Trump in late December, as he was engaged in a frenzied legal and propaganda effort to overturn Joe Biden’s election as president.
January 6 was the day scheduled for a joint session of Congress, chaired by then-Vice President Mike Pence, to confirm Biden’s victory.
“Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election,” Trump tweeted, referring to his baseless claims that widespread electoral fraud had cheated him of a constituency victory.
“Big protest in DC on January 6. Be there, it will be wild,” Trump wrote.
Meggs, in her Facebook post, wrote: “Gentlemen, we’re heading to DC to pack your shit !!”
“[W]We’ll have at least 50-100 OK there, ”Meggs added.
The substitute indictment alleges that Kelly and several other defendants Connie Meggs, Graydon Young, Laura Steele and Sandra Ruth Parker were wearing paramilitary gear and joined two other previously indicted defendants, Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl, “in a military-type formation, which climbed the steps in the center of the east side of the United States Capitol, broke down the door at the top, and then stormed the building, “the US Department of Justice said Jan. 6. Justice in a press release.
Trump held a huge rally outside the White House on Jan.6, where he and his allies, including lawyer Rudy Giuliani, urged supporters to help them fight the confirmation of Biden’s victory.
While planning the trip to Washington, according to the indictment, Meggs made statements that his group did not need to be armed for the attack on Capitol Hill because he expected that there is a “heavy QRF 10 minutes”.
Prosecutors said “QRF” referred to a “rapid reaction force,” a term used by law enforcement and the military to refer to an armed unit capable of responding quickly to developing situations, usually to assist Allied units in need of such assistance.
The indictment says that Young, around the same time as Meggs’ post, arranged for himself and others to be trained by a Florida company that provides guns and a combat training.
Young, 54, of Englewood, Fla., Was arrested Monday in Tampa, Fla., While Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, both of Dunnellon, Fla., Were arrested Wednesday in Ocala , in Florida.
The other newly indicted defendants have been arrested elsewhere. Steele, 52, of Thomasville, NC, was arrested Wednesday in Greensboro, NC, while Sandra Ruth Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, both of Morrow, Ohio, were arrested Thursday.
The six defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct formal congressional proceedings, depredation of federal government property and illegal entry.
Bennie Parker and another previously indicted defendant, ThomasCaldwell, are also charged with obstructing the investigation by claiming to tamper with documents or proceedings by canceling and removing content on Facebook.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in January, accused of inciting a riot with his false allegations of fraud and calling on his supporters to fight back. The riot left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
But Trump, who stepped down on January 20, was acquitted by the Senate last week during his impeachment trial.
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