The Justice Department revealed new evidence Tuesday that suggests there was coordination between the Oath Keepers militia, the Proud Boys, and other far-right groups during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
A court filing in the case against Kelly Meggs, the self-described leader of the Oath Keepers’ Florida chapter, includes online communication between Meggs and others concerning their plan to travel to Washington, D.C., to disrupt Congress’ certification of the presidential election.
Meggs is currently facing several charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and destruction of federal property. The filing was made in order to oppose Meggs’s request for pretrial release.
Prosecutors said Meggs “plotted with his co-conspirators to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote, prepared to use violence if necessary, and stormed the Capitol,” adding that he was the “team leader of the attack.”
This is the first indication that militia groups might have been in contact prior to the events of January 6 with the intention of coordinating their actions and strategy. This would greatly strengthen the conspiracy case federal prosecutors are building against members of the Oath Keepers for their role in the Capitol riot.
In a December 19 Facebook message, Meggs wrote, “Well we are ready for the rioters, 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.”
Meggs also discussed coordinating with the Proud Boys on Facebook once in D.C., writing on December 22, “Plus we have made Contact with PB and they always have a big group. Force multiplier.”
He even outlined how attendees should arm themselves, providing suggestions on gear.
“Dc is no guns. So mace and gas masks, some batons. If you have armor, that’s good. During the day it’s kind of boring but when it starts getting dark Game on,” Meggs wrote in a December 25 conversation.
Meggs seems to have subscribed to the conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act in order to retain power, saying on December 26 that he would “use the emergency broadcast system on cell phones to broadcast to the American people. Then he will claim the insurrection act.”
Meggs later added, “Then wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection.”
During a conversation from January 3, just days before the Capitol attack, Meggs seemed to cite Vice President Mike Pence’s recent actions as further proof of the theory, writing “now pence announced he is going to allow the evidence to be presented to Congress. That checks all the boxes.”
He added, “I think this is why we were called there. Anything less would be a terrible mistake.”