The Oath Guardian chief waited for Trump’s directions earlier than attacking the Capitol, the DOJ says
“As the inauguration approached, [Jessica] Watkins said she was waiting for instructions from President Trump, “the prosecutor wrote in a file on Thursday morning.
This is the federal prosecutor’s most direct language to date, linking Trump’s request for assistance in Washington, DC, with the most militant aspects of the insurgency.
Previously, the Justice Department tied Trump’s words so closely to the extremist group’s actions during the uprising. At least four defendants this week have argued in court that they followed Trump’s orders to go to the Capitol on January 6th.
The Justice Department filing continued: “Her concern about taking action without his support was made clear in a text dated November 9, 2020, in which she stated, ‘I am concerned this is an expensive trap. If the POTUS we don’t activate ourselves, this is not legitimate. The POTUS has the right to activate units. If Trump asks me to come, I’ll do it. Otherwise I can’t trust him. “Watkins had heard her desired signal by the end of December. “
Prosecutors on the file argue that Watkins is being held in jail pending trial. She was arrested a few weeks ago and charged with conspiracy and other charges related to the riot at the Capitol. RELATED: Elementary Training Discussions Are Part of the Newly Indicted Cases of Defendants in the Capitol
The prosecution describes Watkins as a military veteran who is now a leader in the broader right-wing militia movement, is instrumental in a group called the Ohio State Regular Militia, and plays a key role in being in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and communicating with others.
She recruited at least two people into the riot and trained others to be in “fighting form” for the presidential inauguration, prosecutors said on Thursday’s file.
On a radio app that day, she said her group was 30 to 40 people, prosecutors say.
Watkins allegedly had “a determined commitment to violently obstruct the certification of Joe Biden’s presidency,” prosecutors said on the file. “Crimes of this magnitude, committed with such zeal, believe in any conditions of release that are reasonable in keeping the community safe or that Watkins can trust.”
You notice her saying on the radio, “We’re in the main dome right now. We’re rocking it.”
The Justice Department also says Watkins wore camouflage suits and riot gear, including a tactical vest, boots and a helmet, and spoke over the radio with other oath guards.
“Unlike the vast majority, Watkins had trained and planned for a moment like this,” the prosecutor wrote.
The suspected paramilitary conspirator was discussing bringing guns to DC by boat, the DOJ says
Prosecutors also said Thursday they believe Trump paramilitary supporters are discussing the transportation of weapons across the Potomac River to Washington DC.
The guns-with-a-boat plan is mentioned in a DOJ court case alleging that Thomas Caldwell, a Virginia man charged with conspiracy who allegedly helped organize Oath Keeper and other rioters of extremist groups, stay in jail.
Prosecutors say that three days prior to the siege, Caldwell texted a person believed to be linked to the 3 percent paramilitary group about using a boat to cross the Potomac.
He wrote about having someone on a dock ramp and pretending to be using a boat or two for fishing. An idea Caldwell wrote would help his contacts avoid going to Washington, DC, which has much stricter gun laws than neighboring Virginia, which is across the coast from the river.
This story has been updated with additional developments.