A quick reaction force

Oath Keepers guy charged with sedition.

Stewart Rhodes, the leader and founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was arrested on Thursday and charged with seditious conspiracy for organizing a wide-ranging plot to storm the Capitol last Jan. 6 and disrupt the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory, federal law enforcement officials said.

I think that might be a fairly serious crime.

The arrest of Mr. Rhodes was a major step forward in the sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack and the case marked the first time that prosecutors had filed charges of sedition.

The Oath Keepers, along with the Proud Boys, have emerged as the most prominent far-right extremists to have taken part in the assault on the Capitol. Prosecutors have collected reams of evidence against them, including encrypted cellphone chats and recordings of online meetings. They have charged its members not only with forcing their way into the building in a military-style “stack,” but also with stationing an armed “quick reaction force” at a hotel in Virginia to be ready to rush into Washington if needed.

In other words they can’t plausibly claim to have been just protesting, just telling Congress how they felt, just demonstrating their loyalty to the coward Trump. My guess is that a lot of people who were there can plausibly claim that, and that it’s true of some of them, but it’s always appeared that some were organized and not messing around.

Their cover story is that they were there to provide security for people like Roger Stone.

But at least four Oath Keepers who were at the Capitol that day and are cooperating with the government have sworn in court papers that the group intended to breach the building with the goal of obstructing the final certification of the Electoral College vote.

Mr. Rhodes has been a fixture on the far right almost from the day in 2009 that he announced the creation of the Oath Keepers at a rally in Lexington, Mass., the site of a famous Revolutionary War battle.

At the event, Mr. Rhodes laid out an antigovernment platform for the current and former law enforcement and military personnel who joined his group, saying that his plan was for members to disobey certain illegal orders from officials and instead to uphold their oath to the Constitution.

During the years that President Barack Obama was in office, the Oath Keepers repeatedly inserted themselves into prominent public conflicts, often playing the role of heavily armed vigilantes. In 2014, for instance, they turned up at a cattle ranch in Nevada after its owner, Cliven Bundy, engaged in an armed standoff with federal land management officials.

Of course they did. What cause could be more glorious than helping individuals steal public lands?

But after Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Rhodes and the Oath Keepers pivoted away from their antigovernment views and appeared to embrace the new spirit of nationalism and suspicions of a deep-state conspiracy that had taken root in Washington. Like other far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers also opposed — often physically — the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis.

See this is where mention of BLM and George Floyd is relevant. When calling JK Rowling names, not so much.

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