The Overblown Oathkeepers Indictment

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Are the DoJ and FBI grasping at straws in going after Oathkeepers for an alleged conspiracy to carry out an “armed insurrection” by invading Capitol Hill on 6 January? Is the incarceration of hundreds of people on flimsy charges in the aftermath of the riot merely political theater, or is it something far worse? How much longer will those people be held in pre-trial confinement? Will we ever see the thousands of hours of video taken inside the Capitol building on 6 January that has been withheld?

In addition to these questions, I am still waiting for the Democrat-media complex to explain how a tiny fringe group like the Oathkeepers is connected to the larger MAGA movement, which appears to be the basis for The Hologram’s and the larger Uniparty efforts to criminalize anyone and everyone who peacefully protested during the Stop the Steal rally on 6 January.

The dramatic claims associated with the Democrat narrative that 6 January was an “armed insurrection” that threatened to take over control of the Capitol are being debunked one by one:

  • Nobody involved carried firearms; even the FBI finally had to admit that.
  • The rioters did not kill anyone – certainly not Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died from natural causes along with several of the rioters in separate incidents.
  • The only person killed with a firearm was unarmed Trump supporter Ashlii Babbit, with the trigger-puller yet to be publicly identified.
  • A long-planned gigantic conspiracy organized and executed the entry to the Capitol building, with the Oathkeepers the main players.

Hold my beer on that last one! Maybe someone else was involved in that “planning process”?

Last week, on FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Darren Beattie (Revolver) suggested that the “Capitol Insurrection” was a false flag orchestrated by the FBI in an effort to “suppress political dissent.” The key goals included these:

  1. To shut down any Republican attempts to delay The Hologram’s certification vote by the joint session of Congress.
  2. To stop any Republican efforts to contest states in which significant “election irregularities” had been discovered.
  3. To provide the pretext for mobilizing the National Guard to prevent any demonstrations by Trump supporters during the Inauguration and transfer of power.
  4. To provide the pretext for the Democrats’ political campaign to define Trump supporters as “domestic terrorists”, as well as the purging of said terrorists from the US military.
  5. And, the ultimate goal: to destroy the MAGA movement (aided and abetted by RINOs like Liz Cheney)

Here is Carlson’s interview of Beattie courtesy of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL):

Gaetz subsequently sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting that he “fully disclose the role and involvement of FBI operatives during the January 6th Capitol riot”:

While the legacy media are apoplectic about Carlson’s insinuation that the FBI could have been involved in a 6 January false flag event for political reasons, their attention has shifted away from the DoJ case being pursued against the Oathkeepers. There are some serious questions about the government’s case, as examined and detailed by retired senior DOD analyst Ray Blehar in his blogpost entitled, “The Overblown Oathkeepers Indictment.” Let us examine some of Blehar’s key points made.

Blehar considers the indictment to be “an overblown prosecutorial document that fans the flames of the false narrative that Trump supporters are domestic extremists.”

As is the case with many indictments, the prosecutors wove pieces of irrelevant information together and used innuendo to create a conspiracy theory alleging the Oathkeepers began planning to disrupt the electoral college vote in November and all of their actions in the lead up to January 6th were part of a coordinated effort.

Consider this statement from prosecutor Kathryn Rakoczy:

“We do not have, at this point, someone explicitly saying, ‘Our plan is to storm the Capitol to stop certification'”

What really happened?

The evidence in the indictment supports that the Oathkeepers came to Washington DC to attend the Stop The Steal rally and were making preparations in defense of anticipated attacks by Antifa counter-protestors.

If the prosecutors don’t have direct communications among alleged conspirators to “storm the Capitol,” then just what DO they have? A lot of innuendo to fill in the gaps in their case. And federal judges are already chipping away at the case, as Blehar points out:

A Federal judge has already questioned the veracity of the evidence and released Thomas Caldwell, from jail because he was never inside the Capitol and the 65 year-old man is a disabled veteran with multiple physical injuries. Judge Mehta released Oathkeeper Jason Dolan, 44, due to lack of communications with the group, no prior criminal history, and no evidence of past violence and also released Joshua James on similar grounds.  A Florida magistrate released Oathkeeper William Isaacs. The most serious charge against Isaacs was pushing on a door and a police officer.

Blehar then presents the evidence that defeats the prosecutor’s conspiracy theory. The first involves communications among Oathkeepers associated with two MAGA rallies last November that the prosecutors maintain were clear indications of conspiratorial planning for 6 January:

The very first communications in the indictments are discussions regarding the November 14, 2020 Million MAGA March.  The prosecution falsely labeled thee communications “Overt Acts” of planning for January 6th. The recurring theme of these discussions is defending against Antifa.

Here is what PERSON ONE in the government’s indictment said (emphasis added):

On November 9th, PERSON ONE said (of the upcoming event):

“We’re going to defend the president, the duly elected president, and we call on him to do what needs to be done to save our country. Because if you don’t guys, you’re going to be in a bloody, bloody civil war, and a bloody – you can call it an insurrection or you can call it a war or fight.”

“….if the fight comes, let the fight come. Let Antifa – if they go kinetic on us, then we’ll go kinetic back on them. I’m willing to sacrifice myself for that. Let the fight start there. That will give President Trump what he needs, frankly. If things go kinetic, good. If they throw bombs at us and shoot us, great, because that brings the president his reason and rationale for dropping the Insurrection Act.”

“I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside, and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in armed, if they have to . . . . So our posture’s gonna be that we’re posted outside of DC, um, awaiting the President’s orders. . . . We hope he will give us the orders. We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia.”

[Blehar:] While it appears some language may have been redacted, PERSON ONE is clearly defining a defensive posture in expectation that Antifa will engage in violence — and attaches an unrealistic scenario of Trump calling them up as militia as a defensive force in the event the Insurrection Act is declared. … The indictment does not contain any other relevant communications regarding preparations for the MAGA-I rally.

There were similar defensive concerns about Antifa expressed by the 65-year-old Thomas Caldwell in the run-up to the second MAGA rally on 12 December. From the indictment:

Hi, CAP! Wanted to tell you it was great to have you here in Virginia. Don’t know what [PERSON ONE] is cooking up but I am hearing rumblings of another MagaMarch 12 December. I don’t know what will happen, but like you I am worried about the future of our country. Once lawyers get involved all of us normal people get screwed. I believe we will have to get violent to stop this, especially the antifa maggots who are sure to come out en masse even if we get the Prez for 4 more years. Stay sharp and we will meet again. You are my kinda person and we may have to fight next time. I have my own gear, I like to be ON TIME and go where the enemy is, especially after dark. Keep the faith! Spy.

[Blehar’s comments:] Caldwell is a 65-year-old man with numerous physical issues that qualify him for military disability. His statements about fighting and to “go where the enemy is, especially after dark” were very likely just bluster.

The average age of the Oathkeepers under indictment is 48.27 years of age and the group is made up of ten males and four females (one of whom is transgender). Also, if not for one member of the group being 21, the average age would be over 50.  Aside from Caldwell being disabled, other members were senior citizens, one at age 70.

This confederation would hardly be considered as a serious threat [of insurrection]. The USCP intelligence units came to that same conclusion in the lead-up to January 6th.  They assessed the probability of civil disobedience as “remote” and “improbable.”

Blehar then points out that much of the communications among the group of alleged conspirators (PERSONS ONE, TWO, and THREE, Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, etc.) indicates lack of a leader and plan and general confusion prior to the Stop the Steal rally on 6 January. Refer to his blogpost for the details. “Seven days out, this group had yet to establish a leader or a plan.” His conclusion about the supposedly incriminating communications among these people:

[A]ll of this chatter (construed by prosecutors to be planning) resulted [in] four small groups of Oathkeepers staying in various hotels in or near Washington, DC with no discernible plan to meet – let alone carry out any specific operation – on January 6th. At best, their plan was to have arms off-site and a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) at the ready in the event that Antifa counter-protestors attacked Trump supporters.

Blehar continues his analysis:

The grand jury indictment dedicates many paragraphs to individual discussions about guns, training plans, military stack formations, and a QRF in an attempt to paint a picture of a cohesive paramilitary unit that planned and trained to carry out an operational plan to stop the electoral college vote on January 6th.

Analysis of financial transactions, lodging locations, communication, and on-the-ground activities show that this was a loose confederation of four groups possibly acting under the direction of two individuals (PERSONS ONE and TEN) with another in a leadership role (PERSON THREE). Note that none of these individuals have been charged with crimes related to the Capitol attack, therefore, they may be law enforcement or informants.

These four groups had no discernible plan for January 6th.

There is no evidence that all four groups and/or all sixteen individuals (facing charges) were ever together as a unit during the Capitol riot, were involved in the so-called breach of the Capitol doors, or destroyed any property inside the Capitol.

The big problem with the armed QRF claims in the indictment and echoed by Democrat-media complex is that it was neither planned to be made of Oathkeepers nor did it even show up:

The much ballyhooed and allegedly heavy armed QRF that was going to be positioned outside DC to swoop in at a moment’s notice (by land or sea!) never materialized – despite all of the chatter leading up to the event.

According to Watkins, [the] Oathkeepers’ QRF would be unspecified members of local law enforcement. On January 3rd, she told the 70-year-old Bennie Parker:

“We are not bringing firearms. QRF will be our Law Enforcement members of Oathkeepers.”

Bottom Line:  The Oathkeepers were going to call the police if they needed assistance.

That doesn’t seem like much of a conspiracy to conduct an insurrection to me!

Was there a plan to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College votes by the joint session of Congress? Certainly the indictment contains no evidence of that claim that was central to the House Democrats’ impeachment effort. Carefully note this key portion of Blehar’s analysis:

On January 4th, PERSON ONE posted on the Oathkeepers web-site urging attendance at the rally, but no specific instructions about the group’s role on January 6th.

“It is CRITICAL that all patriots who can be in DC get to DC to stand tall in support of President Trump’s fight to defeat the enemies foreign and domestic who are attempting a coup, through the massive vote fraud and related attacks on our Republic. We Oath Keepers are both honor-bound and eager to be there in strength to do our part.” 

This communique was also met with SILENCE.

The indictment is absent any evidence of responses or communications to PERSON ONE.

The lack of communications after this January 4th posting seals the deal that there was no conspiracy nor plan to disrupt the electoral college vote.

Consider that the Oathkeepers did not make plans to meet as a group (virtually or in-person) when they arrived Washington DC on January 5th.

If there was a plan to assault the Capitol, surely the Oathkeepers would have made final coordination on the evening of January 5th or in the early morning hours of January 6th. No evidence of such coordination is present in the indictment.

To summarize:

  • The Oathkeepers’ communications were defensive in nature.
  • There is no evidence of an intent to commit an “armed insurrection.”
  • The Oathkeepers were not armed.
  • The QRF on which they would rely was to have been local police officers (and it never happened).
  • There is zip, zero, nada evidence presented in the indictment that the Oathkeepers planned to disrupt the EC certification by the joint session of Congress on 6 January.

And these points don’t even address the potential identities of some of the unidentified persons in the indictment. That is a story that is still unfolding, thanks to Tucker Carlson and Darren Beattie. The other missing part of the story is the continuing pre-trial confinement (for months!) of hundreds of people, including periods of solitary confinement. That squeeze hasn’t produced any plea deals confirming the government’s insurrection conspiracy theory, either.

So what to do about this Democrat-run farce? Will Republicans cave to the Democrat-media complex and help charter a Democrat-controlled “independent” commission,” as the Democrats are pushing? That would set up an endless series of leaks supporting the main Democrat objective to ostracize Trump supporters and destroy the MAGA movement. Call it a “Bob Mueller Redux,” with sensational stories leaked bolstering Democrat claims leading into the 2020 elections.

Mark Bradman at Conservative Treehouse has a much better solution, in my opinion:

[K]eep supporting independent research, demanding documents and identifying evidence of the FBI involvement by any means legally possible.  Then help the legal defense teams of those who are being charged in the cases to use their position as defendants to demand evidence in the cases against their clients.

All of the lawyers with clients under federal charges should use the full weight of the legal system to demand “Brady Evidence” that supports the innocence of their clients against the ridiculous accusations by the DOJ.  The defense teams should be allowed access to CCTV footage and any evidence of FBI informants who had contact with the accused.

In essence use the legal system to discover the evidence of FBI corruption while simultaneously defending their clients.  A recent example for this approach might be how Sidney Powell defended Michael Flynn and used discovery demands to highlight gross government abuses by the DOJ/FBI against her transparently innocent client.

The defense lawyers could organize a group defense fund for just this purpose and then ask the public for money.  Every client would benefit from the findings.

And that’s exactly what Ray Blehar thinks, too:

Unless there is definitive photographic or video evidence supporting a specific charge, the defense attorneys should mount a vigorous defense and settle for nothing less than ALL charges being dropped except Count 4 (essentially trespassing). After the charges are dropped (or after acquittal), then use the civil courts to expose the rest.

That works for me, too!

The end.

(Editor’s Note: For a differing perspective on this subject, please read this article from Shipwreckedcrew)