R&I – FS
Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were in touch before US Capitol attack, texts reveal
The messages could strengthen a theory being explored by the House committee that January 6 included a coordinated assault
Top leaders in the Oath Keepers militia group indicted on seditious conspiracy charges over the Capitol attack had contacts with the Proud Boys and a figure in the Stop the Steal movement and may also have been in touch with the Republican congressman Ronny Jackson, newly released text messages show.
The texts – which indicate the apparent ease with which Oath Keepers messaged Proud Boys – could strengthen a theory being explored by the House January 6 committee and the US justice department: that the Capitol attack included a coordinated assault.
Oath Keepers text messages released in a court filing on Monday night showed members of the group were in direct communication with the Proud Boys leader Enqrique Tarrio in the days before the Capitol attack.
That close relationship is certain to be of interest to the House committee as it zeroes in on whether the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys coordinated an attack on the Capitol in an attempt to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election win over Donald Trump.
New Republican connection
The Oath Keepers text messages also show a connection to Ronny Jackson that allowed one of its members to learn that the Texas congressman – Trump’s former White House doctor – needed protection as the Capitol attack unfolded.
The potential connection between the Oath Keepers and a Republican member of Congress could mark a new investigatory direction for the committee and the justice department: whether Jackson or others might have had advance knowledge of the Oath Keepers’ plans.
In the exchange on January 6, an unidentified Oath Keeper texts the group chat that “Ronnie Jackson (TX) office inside Capitol – he needs OK help. Anyone inside?”
The same Oath Keeper provides an update less than 10 minutes later: “Dr Ronnie Jackson – on the move. Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect.”
Rhodes quickly responds: “Give him my cell.”
In a statement to the Guardian, a spokesperson said Jackson “is frequently talked about by people he does not know. He does not know nor has he ever spoken to the people in question”.
Asked if Jackson was never in contact with the Oath Keepers, the spokesperson did not answer.
Orange of Specious