The Oath Keepers Dilemma: The Government Has Threatened Yet Another Indictment

The remaining 15 Oath Keeper conspiracy defendants have a status hearing today.

A lot has happened since the last status hearing the bulk of them had on June 1, 2021. Most notably, Graydon Young — co-defendant Laura Steele’s brother — pled guilty on June 23, just over a week ago. His cooperation with prosecutors will implicate the entire Stack, especially Joseph Hackett, Jessica Watkins, his sister, as well as the participants on a OK FL DC OP Jan 6 listserv (in addition to Watkins and Hackett, Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jason Dolan, and William Isaacs).

Then, on Wednesday, Mark Grods pled guilty. His cooperation will implicate fellow Alabaman Joshua James (who got Grods to delete some files), Meggs, Watkins, Robert Minuta, Stewart Rhodes, and others who were on chats Grods was part of, as well as everyone involved in the Golf Cart chase and prior events at the Willard Hotel, adding Jonathan Walden to the mix.

Yesterday (or today, depending on which defendant you ask) was a deadline that Judge Amit Mehta set on June 1 for all motions unrelated to discovery (with the expectation that the late added defendants would probably need more time).

Thomas Caldwell (who can be implicated primarily by the Ohioans, the still unindicted Person Three, Grods, and possibly some other VA militia members not charged in this conspiracy) has been filing motions. He filed a marginally serious motion to dismiss everything on June 15, and filed a frivolous motion to transfer venue yesterday.

Yesterday, the deadline, both Joshua James and Kenneth Harrelson filed some motions. The former filed a motion to dismiss an assault charge and an obstruction charge against himself, as well as for a Bill of Particulars. The latter filed a motion to dismiss the counts of the indictment charged against him. The Meggses had earlier filed a motion for a Bill of Particulars.

But thus far, almost everyone is asking for an extension to file their own motions. Here’s a summary of what’s on the books thus far (Dolan, Hackett, Isaacs, and Walden would have an extension in any case, on account of their late addition):

  1. Thomas Caldwell: Motion to Dismiss, Motion to Change Venue, Motion for Extension
  2. Dominick Crowl: Motion for 60 Day Extension, Motion to Adopt
  3. Jason Dolan: Motion for Extension
  4. Joseph Hackett
  5. Kenneth Harrelson: Motion to Adopt Caldwell and James Motions, Motion for Extension, Motion to Dismiss Charges against Him
  6. William Isaacs
  7. Joshua James: Motion to Adopt, Motion to Dismiss Counts 8 and 13, Motion for Bill of Particulars, Motion for Extension
  8. Connie Meggs: Motion to Join Caldwell’s Motion, Motion for 60 Day Extension
  9. Kelly Meggs: Motion to Adopt Caldwell’s Motion (including a cursory adoption of his obstruction charge)
  10. Roberto Minuta (Minuta’s attorney has had some health limitations so would need an extension anyway): Motion for 30 Day Extension
  11. Benny Parker: Motion for at least 60 Day Extension, Motion to Adopt Harrelson and Caldwell, though not adopting Caldwell’s “partisan surplusage”
  12. Sandi Parker: Motion to Join Caldwell Motion, Motion for Extension
  13. Laura Steele: Motion to be able to go on vacation, Motion to Join Caldwell, Motion for at least 60-Day Extension
  14. Jonathan Walden
  15. Jessica Watkins: Motion to Join Caldwell’s Dismissal, Motion for 60 Day Extension

Between these requests, the government has gotten defendants to waive Speedy Trial for at least 30 more days as they contemplate the legal dilemma they’re facing.

It’s true that most defendants cite the voluminous discovery before them. A few claim they have not yet had an adequate tour of the Capitol. Harrelson’s motion quotes several paragraphs of boilerplate from the government.

But a comment from James’ Motion for Extension is perhaps the most telling. It asserts that defendants have been told there’s still yet another indictment on the way.

Because the government has made clear that an additional indictment (which could include more charges or more defendants) is possible, and because Mr. James is unaware of which, if any, currently charged defendant will be proceeding to trial, it is impossible to assess, prepare, and file motions regarding severance of counts or defendants at this time.

It also suggests that it’s possible none of the currently charged defendants will actually proceed to trial.

Short of adding Stewart Rhodes, there are few places this indictment will go except to make the terrorism or insurrection claims more explicit.

Which may explain why James, one of the remaining key players who would be able to trade a lesser sentence for a cooperation deal, suggests no one may go to trial.

40 replies
  1. harpie says:

    Yet another interesting observation by Marcy on twitter:
    1:15 PM · Jul 2, 2021

    […] The indictment against Oath Keeper Moerschel just casually describes the QRF participants as co-conspirators w/o explanation.
    None of them have been charged.
    Yet, I guess.

    From the Moerschel complaint:

    25. […] Caldwell further coordinated with a group of co-conspirators who agreed to serve as a “quick reaction force” (“QRF”) to be prepared to travel to the Capitol in the event they were called upon, possibly while armed.

    • klynn says:

      QRF = colluding

      I assume a QRF takes a fair amount of planning.

      I look forward to the following question getting answered in court: What influenced you to come together to form a QRF?

  2. greengiant says:

    Not the first time GOP operatives in relationships with Stone have played the QRF card. In Portland 2018 it was called a “quick extraction team”
    In 2016 and January 2017 infowars fake news included vote theft claims and threats of Obama declaring martial law.

  3. Eureka says:

    Would that only more take leave of “partisan surplusage.”

    Also, James’ atty:

    … (which could include more charges or more defendants) …

    Why not both!

    And sideye to a select passel of those other VA militia members (perhaps not included in the ones you’re referring to), who were pre-gaming and on the sidelines with Rhodes.

    • harpie says:

      The term “partisan surplusage” made me smile. Since it’s in quotation marks, I wonder if it can be attributed to Bennie Parker?

      [footnote]1. While defendant moves to join and adopt the motion to transfer venue filed by codefendant Caldwell, he does not explicitly adopt certain “political comments” or “partisan surplusage” included in that motion, especially statements found in pages 13 through 18.

      The lawyer who wrote[?] / signed Caldwell’s “partisan surplusage”:
      David W. Fischer, Esq
      Law Offices of Fischer & Putzi, P.A.
      Glenn Burnie Md.

      • harpie says:

        Fisher inserts himself into the argument “partisan surplusage” on page 14:

        [p14] That the jury pool loathes Trump supporters per se is borne out by undersigned counsel’s conversations with some D.C.-based attorneys, who have referred to the defendants as “hillbillies” and “white trash.” 5
        [fn5 Mr. Caldwell, a retired Lt. Commander and intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy who held a top-security clearance, hardly qualifies as a hillbilly or white trash. […]]

        • Peterr says:

          Seems an odd comment to make about the DC jury pool, as my sense is that a non-trivial number of “DC-based attorneys” probably live not in DC but in Virginia or Maryland. If telling the judge “I talked to a couple of lawyers at the courthouse . . .” is your best argument, it’s probably not very good.

        • Lady4real says:

          IDK, the Trump family with all their billions in holdings can certainly be looked upon as white trash (new money, although old money), especially in in light of how that family gained a foothold in the US and scored millions of dollars as first pimps (grandpa Trump) and then millions (Fred Trump who was a klan member). If you got your start in the US by renting to section 8 tenants on the federal dole and were a ranking member of the klan, you are indeed white trash herein after, especially since you did nothing to clean up your image and instead tied your fortune to the white trash oligarchy of the Russian mafia.

    • Eureka says:

      (1) A month ago, they (PF) vandalized a Floyd memorial in North Philadelphia (Olney) (defaced it with spray paint, added their logos; apparently also claimed credit via social media). Seems they did this in the dark of night — no parade with smoke bombs through Norf Philly!

      (2) There’s a nexus to the Capitol 1/6 via known group-level associations, if not known individual ones.

      (a) In that Jordan Hopkins thread he links another by a “Zig Zag” which shows members of the NJ EHA. Unknown whether those NJ EHA members are formally part of PF now, but multiple of them seem to have been present with (and dressed as) PF on July 3rd if you look through the photos.

      (b) NJ EHA* members, along with the Three Percenters, frequented the spring-summer 2020 anti-shutdown/ defiant reopen rallies at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ, as did anti-vaxxer headliner Stephanie Hazelton, aka Ayla Wolf. Hazelton was arrested and indicted in January for her role 1/6 at the Capitol (laundry list incl the 1512 obstruction charge) (Philadelphia Inquirer and other reporting previously linked).

      *Famously, the gym owner spoke from a megaphone labeled with their logo sticker.

      #Sedition Hunters may want to take a closer look at some of these other events.

      • Eureka says:

        ^ re (1), speaking to the safety of our communities: were any of them (on 7/3) held for questioning about the earlier vandalism? No indication thus far that they were. Observers immediately made the link between the two events; did the police think to do that (seems pretty rare for a whole horde of brand-name suspects to show up in public like that)?

      • Eureka says:

        Before we cap the septic, harpie, I should note there’s moar militia oozing from that leach field: Hazelton was clad in NJ Sons of Liberty wear (hat, sweatshirt) as she ushered men up the steps betwixt her three trips into the violent west tunnel, and the SoL (we all know what else that stands for) were kitted-out (plates/vests, radios, etc.) somewhere on the Mall.

        Yada yada reasons, I wonder if they were included (in presence or spirit) in OK James Breheny’s planned 1/3 regional inter-militia coordination meeting at Quarryville, PA, to which he’d invited Rhodes.

        That NJ SoL seems OK-adjacent to me, and — trivial pursuit answer — OK Jon Schaffer’s lesser-known band, Sons of Liberty, has a ~ 2009 song called “Tree of Liberty”. The Tree of Liberty is NJ SoL’s logo. Matchy matchy! (Fair, these may be the garanimals of revolution-era symbols but Schaffer’s recent-era pairing may inspire anew.)

        [Back when Marcy did Schaffer’s plea posts and aficionados were around, I asked them about this Sons of Liberty band of his, which doesn’t have its own wiki or anything, and no one offered any info. Schaffer wrote or published the relevant album ca. 2009 (the album, _Brush-fires of the Mind_, does have a wiki, and you can find the “Tree…” song lyrics which are kinda 1/6-y).]

    • harpie says:

      White supremacist group marches through Philadelphia before Fourth of July celebrations
      July 5, 2021 9:06AM

      […] Police said no one in the group was from Philadelphia. The group is based in Texas and traveled into the city.
      “They started engaging with citizens of Philadelphia, who were none too happy about what they were saying. These males felt threatened, and, at one point, somebody in their crowd threw a type of smoke bomb to cover their retreat, and they literally ran away from the people of Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Police Officer Michael Crum. […]


      • Eureka says:

        I enjoyed all the “Fuck around and find out” energy from jubilant posts and memes and such. [And one of the anchorwomen at another station editorialized, after playing Crum’s statement, ~~”See, he called them “males”. They’re not men because men don’t act that way” (or too that effect).] So PF basically got themselves a lot of snuff (humiliation/social death) reels. And treating them like an insignificant outgroup was a good play, counter-propaganda-wise. However, the local ADL Chair did warn that there’s increased PF activity in the area — vandalism, leafleting, etc. (but that was a textual reference in the the dark corners of the web known as “the newspaper”, so … outside PF’s recruiting realm).

        Did you see what happened Monday in East Philly Mt. Laurel, NJ? Crazy story, has it atop their page (with another more informative video mid-story). Some super mouthy (even to the cop) racist guy who had apparently harassed his Black neighbors for awhile invited folks to show up at his house. And they did. He was later arrested. [NSFW (epithets) 1st video is from Friday that kicked this off, 2nd one from 7-5 w/news clips in replies: ]

        • harpie says:

          No, I hadn’t seen that Mt. Laurel story. Thank you!
          Darkness and Light.

          The Story of Rep. Andy Kim’s Blue Suit:

          9:12 AM · Jul 6, 2021

          [THREAD] The story of that day wasn’t just destruction. There was hope and resilience. The Capitol Police were heroes that saved lives. Colleagues and staff showed bravery. I hope those stories are told. They help tell a story of light on one of the darkest days in our democracy. 11/17 […]

    • harpie says:
      9:56 AM · Jul 5, 2021

      The residents of Philly responded appropriately to the white extremist group Patriot Front: they literally chased them out of town. Then cops pulled over the box trucks PF rented, which means Feds may have access to a massive, fresh membership roster. These fascists fucked up.

      If you have photos or videos of Patriot Front in Philly, please post them as a response here. Especially interested in seeing how the cops and local residents were interacting with them. This is a major PR disaster for a fascist org obsessed with how it projects its image.

      • harpie says:

        KrisGoldsmith85’s Twitter bio:

        CEO Sparverius. Founder @HighGroundVets. Iraq War vet. Research: disinfo + extremism among vets + military. Hunter of fascists. I troll trolls who troll troops.

Comments are closed.