Guns, Bad Attitudes, & Cheap Whiskey: Inside the Oath Keepers Armed 'Quick Reaction Force' on January 6
At least 28 Oath keepers brought weapons to January 6, but new evidence suggests prosecutors have manufactured a false narrative of heavily armed commandos poised to assault the Capitol
1st in a 3 part series on the Oath keepers ‘Quick Reaction Force’
By Nate Thayer,
April 11, 2022
Prosecutors central narrative of a heavily armed Oath keepers commando force on stand by to assault the Capitol January 6 is buckling as new evidence emerges, government court documents, interviews with multiple Oath keepers, and other documents suggest.
New revelations in the sprawling government conspiracy cases against the Oath keepers suggest prosecutors may be presenting a false narrative in court filings that a ‘Quick Reaction Force’ (QRF) stockpiled ‘an arsenal of heavy weapons’ amassed by key Oath keepers poised to attack the Capitol.
Until now, disabled Marine veteran Paul Stamey has been a mysterious figure identified only as un-indicted co-conspirator ‘Person Three’ in dozens of government court documents central in the conspiracy cases.
Federal prosecutors allege Stamey commanded an armed QRF ready to attack the Capitol, conspired to transport an “arsenal of heavy weapons” from multiple states to the outskirts of D.C., stashed them at the Oath keepers QRF headquartered in his Comfort Inn hotel room in Arlington, Virginia, and plotted to organize weapons-filled boats to cross the Potomac River to deploy “at a moments notice” to the Capitol riots.
In his first public comments, the 66-year old semi-retired landscaper from Cabarrus County, North Carolina denied the accusations. “I did none of that,” he said. “I love my country. I would never attack my government. It tears me up when I hear that. It just isn’t true.”
New evidence, including Stamey’s Comfort Inn time-stamped guest registration and credit card records, show Stamey was not at the Comfort Inn when prosecutors contend weapons were delivered to him there on January 5 or retrieved from him at the hotel on January 7.
During an eleven month investigation into the Oath keepers Quick Reaction Force, Stamey, and more than 40 other Oath keepers interviewed, provided a detailed behind the scenes reconstruction of the chaos that descended into an orgy of violence on January 6, leaving the largest militia group in the country reduced to poster boys for the new face of American domestic terrorism and scrambling to distance themselves from the harsh glare of legal and public scrutiny.
Multiple Oath keepers, and others, interviewed say government prosecutors have distorted the role QRF’s played during the January 6 insurrection.
“While certain Oath Keepers members and affiliates breached the Capitol grounds and building, others remained stationed just outside of the city in quick reaction force (QRF) teams,” reads a January 2022 indictment of 11 Oath keepers for ‘seditious conspiracy.’ “The QRF teams were prepared to rapidly transport firearms and other weapons into Washington, D.C., in support of operations aimed at using force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.”
Oath keepers contend the QRF’s were organized as a contingency plan to protect them from what they expected would be violent confrontations with anti-Trump counter-demonstrators January 6—who they loosely defined as Antifa—not to storm the Capitol, or part of any effort to prevent the ratification of the peaceful transfer of power from the defeated president Trump to the victor, Joseph Biden.
“I thought there might be a slaughter,” said the leader of the North Carolina Oath keepers chapter, retired career U.S. Army Special Forces veteran George Douglas Smith. “That there would be a fight with Antifa or BLM. Our QRF was to protect our civilians on our bus—to extract them if they got in trouble. Our QRF had nothing to do with the government or the Capitol building. It was to get our civilians out of D.C. into Virginia if violence broke out. There were no plans to bring guns or our QRF into D.C. No, Sir.”
All Oath keepers interviewed insist they had no prior knowledge of any pre-planned assault on the capitol, or that any Oath keepers would assault law enforcement, breach police lines, and enter the Capitol building.
Stamey confirmed he was in charge of the Oath keepers North Carolina chapter armed security detail on January 6, but said “Our QRF was just to provide security for our folks from North Carolina who came up on a charter bus to hear President Trump speak. We had nothing to do with what those idiots did at the Capitol.”
“Those idiots who attacked police officers, punched them, sprayed them with bear spray, and went inside the Capitol—if I knew any of that was going to happen, I would have called the FBI myself,” said Stamey. “They should go to jail.”
“And when I saw it on live TV from my hotel room, we ordered our guys from North Carolina to turn around, walk back to the charter bus, and go back to North Carolina.”
“And that is exactly what we did,” said Stamey. “We had nothing to do with those dumb asses.”
Stamey denounced Oath keepers national leader Stewart Rhodes for sanctioning the assault on the Capitol and law enforcement defenders.
“I don’t know whether Rhodes ordered that attack, but I damn sure know he could have stopped it,” said Stamey.
Some Oath keepers, nearly all of whom were ardent Trump supporters, are now contemptuous of the former President who they say orchestrated and incited the January 6 events, and then abandoned them.
“As for that guy Trump—he incited that crowd that day. He is the reason for this whole mess,” said Stamey. “We went to Washington because our president asked us. That guy lied to us, used us, and then threw us under the bus. If it wasn’t for him, none of this would have happened.”
“To be honest with you, at first I didn’t know what was true. Trump kept saying he had evidence the election was stolen,” said Stamey. “He said he would reveal evidence on January 6. I watched his speech live on TV in my hotel room that day and he didn’t give a single bit of evidence,” recalled Stamey. “I remember turning to my boys and saying ‘WTF?! That guy has no evidence the election was stolen!’”
“I’m a Marine. When Biden was declared the winner, he became my commander-in-chief. I didn’t vote for him, but he won, so that was that,” Stamey said. “That is the American way.”
Oath keepers and the QRF
Since January 6, federal prosecutors have increasingly focused on what they allege was a large cache of weapons secreted at the Arlington, Virginia Comfort Inn to be used by an armed ‘Quick Reaction Force’ of commandos headed by Mr. Stamey.
In court filings, prosecutors cite intercepted encrypted chat group conversation, court approved warrants that obtained cell phone location information and messages, and hotel surveillance video that prosecutors contend show multiple Oath keepers arriving at the Comfort Inn and dropping off weapons with Mr. Stamey, who they allege commanded the Oath keepers armed QRF.
“Some number of individuals (were) on standby, armed with ‘heavy weapons,’ and prepared to quickly get them to the team operating within the District on January 6 if they were needed,” court filings referencing Stamey read, concluding “the evidence has only strengthened.”
Oath keepers interviewed said every state chapter had their own QRF responsible for and answerable to their own state contingents. “I answered to our commander (North Carolina Oath keeper state chapter head) George Smith and nobody else,” he said. “There was no ‘arsenal of weapons’, at least that I knew of. And no one dropped any weapons off with me. That I know for damn sure. And so does the FBI, because it just isn’t true.”
Oath keepers and others say there were numerous armed groups waiting on the outskirts of D.C. January 6, including multiple QRF’s from Oath keepers state chapters and other militia groups.
“It was normal to have what we called QRF’s. We had them at every event we were at before January 6, including in D.C. in November and Louisville before that,” said Stamey. “If the gun laws prohibited them in some cities, we had them set up nearby where it was legal. We always researched and followed the laws.”
Other Oath keepers from multiple states who were in D.C. January 6, corroborated Stamey’s account of the role of the QRF’s and that of his North Carolina state contingent.
Oath keepers January 6 ‘operational ground commander’ Mike ‘Whip’ Simmons—identified in federal court documents only as ‘Person Ten’—would have been in charge of any QRF’s.
In a series of interviews in February and March 2022, Simmons said: “I didn’t know of any Oath keepers having a QRF January 6 and I had no communication or interaction with the North Carolina Oath keepers January 6. On the Oath keepers national level, we decided on January 5th against having any QRF because we didn’t have the manpower to keep people waiting outside the Capitol. No one contacted me.”
“A QRF is meant to extract people if they get in trouble. There was no way in Hell any vehicle could get anywhere near the Capitol that day. The roads were all shut down. So what then would be the purpose of having any QRF?” added Simmons. “It makes no sense. There were no QRF’s I knew about.”
Further, Simmons said “Everybody knew North Carolina had broken from Oath keepers in November and had nothing to do with national Oath keepers on January 6.”
In two May, 2021 interviews with the FBI, Simmons told the FBI a similar account. “In November, Rhodes tried to get people to go back into D.C. and confront Antifa,” Simmons said. “(North Carolina chapter head) George Smith objected and they got in an argument and that is when North Carolina split from the national organization.”
In a March 14 2021 interview with right wing conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, Oath keepers head Stewart Rhodes also said that the North Carolina chapter had broken from his national leadership prior to January 6.
“We have one rogue chapter from North Carolina that made it clear to their members that they were not going to do anything with national, that they were doing their own thing,” Rhodes said. “There was some chatter among other people, like Thomas Caldwell who is not an Oath keeper, about having a QRF outside of D.C. It turns out to be one old veteran who could even hardly walk,” Rhodes said referring to Paul Stamey.
North Carolina state chapter head George Douglas Smith had harsh words for Rhodes in an April 2022 interview.
“In November, Rhodes wanted us to go into D.C. and attack Antifa. We decided then it was time to separate from national,” Smith said. “And that is exactly what we did.”
“I had no intent to let my boys get involved in street fighting in D.C.,” Smith said. “It was time we split into individual states.”
In fact, North Carolina and other Oath keepers recall the deep rifts festering between North Carolina and other chapters and the national leadership well before November. In a letter dated July 2020 from chapter head George Smith to retired Special Forces Colonel Jack Tobin, head of the private Special Forces Association, Smith wrote “A few of us are in the process of taking North Carolina Oath Keepers to our next phase of building a Citizen militia capable of supporting law enforcement in all 100 North Carolina counties. Our first order of business is to separate from the national organization with our command and control solely in the hands of North Carolina citizens.”
In November, Rhodes rhetoric sharply escalated, warning of “a bloody civil war” unless the election results were reversed.
“He ruined the Patriot Movement. He was all about publicity to get donations for his pocket money,” Smith added.
Kellye SoRelle, a Texas attorney and close confidant of Stewart Rhodes, who served as the Oath keepers general council and accompanied Rhodes to the Capitol January 6, said the national organization had no contact with the North Carolina chapter January 6 and no knowledge of any QRF’s during the insurrection.
“We didn’t find out about any QRF’s until we read about them in the criminal indictments after January 6,” SoRelle said in March 2022 interviews.
Interviewed by the FBI in August 2021, SoRelle said “it was clear by their line of questioning the FBI was trying to tie together their conspiracy case by linking Stewart (Rhodes) and the Florida and North Carolina chapters with QRF’s at the Capitol January 6, but I told the FBI ‘you are going to have a hard time reconciling tying Stewart Rhodes to North Carolina.’ I explained there was a breakup in November and factional breakdowns between some state chapters. Rhodes and national had no contact with North Carolina January 6.”
SoRelle said factional infighting among Oath keepers prior to January 6 meant there were several channels of communication between Oath keepers state chapters, the national organization under Stewart Rhodes, and individual Oath keepers organizing independently for January 6, resulting in effectively no formal chain of command.
Another Oath keeper from Florida who was at the Capitol January 6, and dropped of his weapons at the Comfort Inn, also confirmed these accounts.
“Doug Smith told me himself before January 6 that they were not taking part in any of the national Oath keepers activities and made it clear that North Carolina had broken with National and Stewart Rhodes back in November over Stewart’s more confrontational rhetoric,” said retired career U.S. Army Special Forces officer Jeremy Brown, a Florida Oath keeper who was in Washington January 6 and interviewed multiple times before he was arrested in October 2021.
Interviews with Brown and other Oath keepers who prosecutors allege left their guns with Stamey, acknowledge they dropped off and retrieved their weapons from the Comfort Inn—but not with Mr. Stamey, but rather with a Florida Oath keeper who headed that state chapter’s QRF they knew only as ‘Kane.’
They say they didn’t know or meet Mr. Stamey.
“I have never heard of Paul Stamey. Our weapons were not left with anyone from North Carolina,” said Brown, “Florida Oath keepers had our own QRF at the Comfort Inn. I left my weapons with an older gentleman from Florida who sat in the hotel and doesn’t move easily who was in charge of our state chapter QRF. I only knew him by ‘Kane.’ He was our QRF guy at the Comfort Inn.”
“I had my guns in that hotel room. I was on their video camera picking up my guns the next day,” Brown said. “All the footage that has been released from that hotel room? They have that same footage of me, including video of me picking up my guns,” said Brown. “How come they haven’t released that? Because they know it will show their story is full of s—t.”
As for the QRF, Brown, who did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, insisted “There was no plan to deploy those guns to D.C. They were our personal weapons. I remember asking ‘What is the signal to activate the QRF?’ They had no signal. There were no vehicles, no point of contact, no rendezvous location, no plan. We just knew we couldn’t bring our firearms into D.C. because of D.C. gun laws so we left them in Virginia, where it is perfectly legal.”
“The QRF drama is fantasy. People were playing by the rules--the legal rules. How do you have an offensive QRF poised to deploy without any plan to activate--no ingress team, no vehicles, nothing,” he said. “That hotel was a storage unit.”
“Keep in mind, the Oath keepers and these militia groups have a lot of military guys that didn't do ‘cool’ things in the military and use these groups as kinda LARPing events,” said Brown.
“Even worse are the guys that NEVER served. They watch videos of guys like me and play dress-up. I'm not trying to sound cocky, but they wear a bunch of ‘cool guy shit’ and usually have no idea why,” Brown argued, pointing to his own Florida Oath keepers state chapter leader. “Kelly Meggs is a perfect example.”
Jeremy Brown is no moderate. In a series of interviews in the fall of 2021 before he himself was arrested, he outlined his belief that “the Republic has already fallen” and that President Biden and a swath of the ‘Deep State’ were agents of the Chinese Communist Party.
The government “play on American’s ignorance. ‘Well, they had their guns stored in a hotel.’ Well, that’s not illegal. Americans are allowed to possess guns, they are allowed to store guns,” said Brown. “They are allowed to shoot guns. They are allowed to shoot guns at people who are trying to harm them.”
“If they arrest me and indict me, guess what? I get to get on the stand and testify as a 20-year expert in insurgency and, as they like to refer to it, insurrection,” Brown said shortly before he was arrested October 2. “And I will testify as not only an expert witness but an eyewitness to the activities not only on January 6 but those that took place before and after.”
Oath keepers and guns at the Comfort Inn: The Evidence
“It is reasonable to believe that Harrelson was dropping off his weapons with ‘Person Number Three’ and the ‘QRF’”
In April 2021, prosecutors began releasing time-stamped frame grabs from Comfort Inn hotel surveillance video they allege depict multiple Oath Keepers ferrying weapons on January 5 to Mr. Stamey and his Oath keepers QRF, or retrieving them from him on January 7.
The day before the Capitol insurrection, at 8:02 on the morning of January 5, while driving north on interstate 95 with Oath keeper Jason Dolan in his rental vehicle towards Washington, Florida Oath keeper Kenneth Harrelson used his call sign ‘Gator 6’ to message his state chapter leader Kelly Meggs on their encrypted, invitation only Signal chat site: “We get that QRF hotel address yet?”
Using the call sign ‘Gator 1’, Meggs responded “DM”—asking Harrelson to send him a direct message.
“About three hours after sending the above message, Defendant Harrelson arrived in the area of the Comfort Inn Ballston, where he remained for about an hour before driving into Washington, D.C.,” prosecutors wrote, placing Harrelson as having arrived at the Comfort Inn at 11:00 am, dropping off his guns, and departing at noon. “It is reasonable to believe that during this hour, Defendant Harrelson was dropping off his weapons with ‘Person Number Three’ and the ‘QRF,’” referring to Mr. Stamey.
It is known that arriving at the Comfort Inn with Florida Oath keepers Kenneth Harrelson and Jason Dolan, was a convoy of cars which included Florida state chapter leader Kelly Meggs and his wife Connie Meggs, as well as Florida Oath keepers Caleb Berry, Thomas Burgess, Joseph Hatchett, David Moerschel, and the head of the Florida state chapter QRF known as ‘Kane',’ among others.
“Harrelson was both aware of the presence of an armed Quick Reaction Force and likely contributed weapons to it. This evidence is drawn primarily from the communications in the Florida Signal Chat, Defendant Harrelson’s cell site location information (CSLI), hotel surveillance video, and information about Person Three,” reads another government court filing.
Cell site location information (CSLI) and global positioning system (GPS) data triangulate cell phone data with cell phone towers data and GPS satellite data to determine the location and time of a phone when it ‘pings’ off nearby towers. It is accurate to the exact time and within three meters of a user’s location, according to the Electronic Freedom Foundation.
“It is reasonable to believe that during this hour, Defendant Harrelson was dropping off his weapons with ‘Person Number Three’ and the ‘QRF,’” wrote prosecutors, referring to Mr. Stamey.
“As far as I remember, I’ve never met the man,” Stamey said, referring to Harrelson. “But I damn sure know he didn’t drop any guns off with me.”
Stamey’s Comfort Inn hotel registration records and credit card statements appear to corroborate his claim.
New documents obtained in this investigation, when compared to Harrelson’s CSLI data and hotel surveillance video cited by prosecutors, show Stamey and his North Carolina state chapter 4-man QRF had not checked into the Comfort Inn when the government claims Harrelson and other Florida Oath keepers arrived, dropped their weapons off, and departed.
“Harrelson’s CSLI (Cell Signal Location Information) shows he left the area of the Comfort Inn Ballston at around 12:30 p.m.,” prosecutors wrote.
According to Stamey’s hotel registration records, Mr. Stamey checked into his Comfort Inn room at 12:59 pm January 5—two hours after the Florida Oath Keepers contingent, including Kenneth Harrelson and Jason Dolan, arrived at the hotel, went to a 2cd floor room, dropped off their weapons, and departed.
Documents provided by prosecutors in court documents show Harrelson departed the Comfort Inn without their weapons between one hour and 30 minutes before Stamey checked in, hotel surveillance video, Harrelson’s CSLI (Cell Signal Location Information) obtained by government warrant, Stamey’s hotel registration records, and other court filings by prosecutors show.
The government has also released snippets from time-stamped hotel video frame grabs they allege is evidence of multiple Oath keepers retrieving weapons from Stamey on the morning of January 7.
But when these time-stamped images and other court filings are compared to Stamey’s time-stamped hotel registration and credit card records, they also show that all of the Oath keepers who are alleged to have retrieved weapons from Stamey at the Comfort Inn on the morning of January 7 did so after Stamey had checked out.
The government has submitted no photographic or other evidence that Stamey and the Florida Oath keepers met with each other in Washington on January 6, despite it being known the government has the raw unedited hotel surveillance video which shows what rooms Oath keepers entered or departed with their weapons, as well as video of the hotel hallways, elevators, front lobby, parking lot, and outside entrance.
Hotel registration records show that Stamey and his North Carolina QRF team checked out of the Comfort Inn room number 255 at 6:27 a.m. on the morning of January 7—prior to any of the other Oath keepers arriving at the hotel to retrieve their weapons that day.
But Stamey insists he and his QRF team actually checked out of the Comfort Inn the day before—and his credit card records corroborate his claim.
Stamey said he dropped off his room keys at the front desk “around 5:30” on the afternoon of January 6, as the North Carolina QRF team attempted to catch up with the charter bus that had already departed “around 4:00 pm” from D.C. with all the North Carolina Oath keepers contingent on board and accounted for.
“I dropped my keys off at the front desk around 5:30 pm January 6. My boys were waiting for me outside in front of the lobby,” Stamey recalled. “The feds have video of that, too. How come they haven’t released that? That shows I wasn’t even there when they claim people picked up guns they say were in my hotel room.”
When contacted, Arlington, Virginia Comfort Inn staff said the hotel often record check out time hours after a guest has dropped off keys, since the room is already paid for through the following morning. When housekeeping confirms a room is vacated, the hotel front desk then record that as the departure time.
Stamey’s credit card records support his claim he checked out on the afternoon of January 6—the day before prosecutors allege multiple Oath keepers retrieved their weapons from Stamey’s hotel room prosecutors say was the headquarters of the Oath keepers QRF.
The same credit card Stamey used to check into the Arlington, Virginia hotel on January 5th was used to purchase a Taco Bell ‘combo plate’ for $7.03 in Kenly, North Carolina between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm January 6 , 246 miles and 4 and 1/2 hours away from the Arlington, Virginia Comfort Inn hotel.
“Saved by a taco,” Stamey quipped. “The government knows no one retrieved any guns left with me. Hell, they know I wasn’t even there.”
In either case, hotel and credit card records have Stamey documented as having arrived at the Comfort Inn on January 5th after any weapons were dropped off and left the Comfort Inn before any Oath keepers arrived on the morning of January 7 with no luggage and departed with what appear to be long-gun cases.
The question remains who the Florida Oath keepers deposited their weapons with on the days before and after January 6.
Florida Oath keepers, Guns, & their QRF: who is ‘Kane’?
“The evidence is that at least some members of the QRF were staged at the Comfort Inn Ballston hotel in Arlington, Virginia,” reads a July 1 FBI charging document against Florida Oath keeper David Moerschel. “Surveillance video shows known members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers transporting what appear to be rifle cases into the hotel on January 5, 2021, and out of the hotel on January 7, 2021.”
At 6:35 am on January 7, Florida Oath keeper David Moerschel, using the alias ‘Hatsy’, responded to a message from another unidentified Florida Oath keeper in their encrypted communication Signal group chat.
“We have your bag. We will leave it with Kane at the QRF. We are en route there now,” Moerschel messaged. “Anyone else leave anything in the white van? We can leave it for you at QRF.”
Moerschel’s message suggests he was bringing additional weapons or military gear from elsewhere on the morning of January 7 “in a white van” to leave at the Comfort Inn “with Kane at the QRF” for other members of his state chapter to retrieve.
At approximately the same time, Florida Oath keeper Jeremy Brown rose before dawn at the Maryland Cherry Hill RV camp site where he had parked his 38-foot RV and eight passenger van when he arrived there early in the morning of January 5th.
Both vehicles had been loaded with guns and military kit when they departed Florida on January 4th on their way to D.C., according to prosecutors and other Oath keepers.
“He was taking the van to give to (Florida Oath keeper) Tom (Burgess) to drive back to Florida,” said Brown’s girlfriend, Tylene Aldridge, who is not an Oath keepers member, but travelled with Brown from Florida to D.C. “It was still dark out. I was still asleep when he left and still asleep when he got back.”
Thomas Burgess, a 61-year old Tampa, Florida businessman, and arrested Florida Oath keeper 19-year old Caleb Berry drove Brown’s 8-passenger seat van which convoyed with Brown’s 38-foot recreational vehicle, both laden with weapons, from Florida on the 4th of January and arrived after dark at the property of North Carolina chapter head, George Smith.
“We made a pitstop in North Carolina where I transferred my guns and kit from the RV and van to other Florida Oath keepers who ferried them up to the Virginia hotel,” recalled Brown. “We didn’t spend the night and continued up to our RV park in Maryland, me driving the RV and my girlfriend driving the van. We dropped off Tom and Berry in North Carolina.”
Burgess, who was at the Comfort Inn on January 5th when the Florida Oath keepers dropped their guns off, and was prominent as working security details for VIP’s on January 5th and 6th in D.C., has never been mentioned or identified in any court filings in the Oath keepers conspiracy cases.
When contacted by a reporter by telephone, he abruptly hung up after being asked about his role as an Oath keeper January 6.
It is not confirmed that Brown’s van—which is silver colored— is the same “white van” referred to by David Moerschel heading towards the Comfort Inn early the morning of January 7.
But it is known Brown drove his van to give to Burgess and picked up his weapons on the early morning of January 7 at the Comfort Inn from a Florida Oath keeper he identified as ‘Kane’, the head of the state chapter’s QRF, according to Brown himself.
“I picked up my guns on the morning of January 7 at the Comfort Inn. We left them with an elderly man who had difficulty walking I knew only as ‘Kane.’ He was the head of our QRF,” recalled Brown.
“When the government releases the full Comfort Inn video, you will see that only a few Oath keepers dropped weapons off on the 5th, but a whole lot more picked them up on the morning of the 7th,” Brown said in an interview before he was himself arrested. “That is because we consolidated our guns in a couple vehicles to drop them off on the 5th but we had to each pick them up ourselves on the 7th.”
By all accounts, North Carolinian Paul Stamey had already checked out of the hotel.
24 minutes after Moerschel said he was “enroute” to the “QRF” at the Comfort Inn in a “white van” with “bags” to drop off “with Kane at the QRF,” Moerschel is seen on hotel surveillance video entering the Comfort Inn, exiting an elevator on the 2cd floor pushing a hotel luggage cart with what appears to be a gun case, and rolling it down a hallway towards a room.
“Surveillance video from the Comfort Inn Ballston on January 7, 2021” show “three individuals wheeling a concierge cart with at least one long gun case onto an elevator,” prosecutors said in August. “An individual that appears to be Moerschel can be seen wearing a long black jacket.”
Next to Moerschel is an unidentified elderly man in a blue jacket, his face censored by prosecutors, who the government does not identify.
During this investigation, ‘Kane’ has been identified as 79-year old Kenneth Bittner, an Oath keepers member and firearms instructor from Cape Coral, Florida.
When contacted, Mr. Bittner declined to comment. “Don’t know what you are talking about,” he said in a text message. “Do not attempt to contact me again.”
In follow up message, Bittner said “I would like to remind you that I am a private citizen, not a public persona. I already see inaccuracies in some of your allegations regarding me. If you choose to name me in your article, I suggest you have verifiable evidence supporting your allegations, not innuendo or hearsay.”
In interviews, three Florida Oath keepers identified the man shown in Comfort Inn screen grabs of hotel surveillance video by his Signal chat group user name, ‘Kane,’ but they didn’t know his real name. They said he was in charge of the Florida state chapter’s QRF and occupied a Comfort Inn room where they dropped off and retrieved their personal weapons.
‘Kane’ is shown in multiple other hotel surveillance video frame grab images overseeing Florida Oath keepers Kelly Meggs, Caleb Berry, Joseph Hackett, Jeff Morelock, David Moerschel, Kenneth Harrelson, James Dolan, and others retrieving weapons on the morning of January 7th, his face always censored by prosecutors.
‘Kane’ is also mentioned as responsible for Florida’s state chapter QRF in the encrypted Signal Florida chat group used by Florida Oath keepers to communicate with each other, including between Moerschel and Kenneth Harrelson.
While it is understood prosecutors have known the real identity of ‘Kane’ since early 2021, and he has been interviewed by the FBI, he is never mentioned or identified in any court filings.
A list of Oath keepers user names obtained during this investigation show a Florida Oath keeper with the handle “@Gator Kane” on the by-invitation-only Florida Oath keepers encrypted Signal organizing “FL OK’ and “Ok FL DC OP Jan 6” planning chat groups.
Prosecutors say those Signal chat groups were “used by members of the Oath Keepers—including defendants Kelly Meggs, Harrelson, and Watkins—to coordinate in advance of and on January 6, 2021.”
Attached to the user name “@Gator Kane” on the Signal chat groups is a contact phone number. That telephone number is registered to Mr. Bittner under his name at the home Bittner owns at his Florida address.
Further, email addresses registered to Mr. Bittner include other derivations of the name “Kane,” including the contact email used on an internal Oath keepers membership list showing Mr. Bittner has been an Oath keepers member since at least May 2018. That email address, “firstname.lastname@example.org”, is also registered to Bittner at the same Florida address.
In addition, three Florida Oath keepers, when shown photographs of Bittner from his public social media pages, identified him as the Florida QRF head they knew as ‘Kane.’
Bittner, who was a mechanic in the U.S. army in the early 1960’s, is a retired car salesman who now runs a pistol shooting training business, DryFireTraining, in Florida.
There is no evidence Mr. Bittner left his Virginia hotel room and entered Washington, D.C., or was involved in any illegal activity January 6.
Some Oath keepers, and others involved in their legal cases, believe that government prosecutors may be intentionally conflating the North Carolina Oath keepers QRF head Paul Stamey with the Florida Oath keepers ‘QRF’ head, Bittner aka ‘Kane’, to remain consistent with the government’s original narrative that Stamey was in charge of a unified Oath keepers QRF.
Another still photo shows Florida Oath Keepers arriving at the hotel in the early morning of January 7 shortly after Moerschel, exiting the 2cd floor elevator without weapons, and headed towards a room at the Comfort Inn (below).
The group of other Florida Oath keepers includes Sarasota, Florida chiropractor Joseph Hackett, two Oath keepers with their identities obscured by prosecutors, and Tampa, Florida Oath keeper Caleb Berry.
At 7:32 a.m., the same group of Oath keepers above are shown with others (pictured below) in hotel surveillance video pushing a luggage cart carrying what appears to be gun cases down the same 2cd floor hallway towards the same elevator and exiting the hotel.
In addition to Joseph Hackett (l); former Gulfport, Florida police detective, current firearms instructor, and licensed private investigator Jeffrey Morelock from Tampa, Florida with back to camera (3rd l); Florida state chapter head Kelly Meggs (4th l); and 19-year old Tampa, Florida Oath keeper Caleb Berry on far right with his identity obscured; Florida QRF head ‘Kane’ is shown facing the camera in the blue shirt, his face obscured and identity redacted, 2cd left.
Although several of the group have been arrested and charged for entering the Capitol on January 6, there is no allegation, criminal charges, or evidence submitted by prosecutors in court filings that any of these Florida Oath keepers broke any state or federal weapons laws.
Virginia and Florida, like many states, have ‘reciprocal gun rights’ laws that allow legal gun owners to transport and store weapons between the states.
In the above photograph is Florida Oath keeper, Jeffrey Morelock, who has never been charged or mentioned in prosecutors court filings, despite being shown ferrying weapons from the Comfort Inn on January 7.
Morelock is a former Florida police detective who resigned admist a scandal of filing false police reports against a young black man for felony charges who he never interviewed, despite his police criminal complaints to the contrary. Morelock also served in U.N. peacekeeping forces in the former Yugoslavia, is a licensed Florida private investigator and gun dealer, and trained in ‘executive protection’—or as a VIP bodyguard.
Morelock did security VIP protection at numerous Oath keepers events in the months prior to January 6, including at pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington and Georgia in November and December 2020. In addition, Morelock worked as a paid Oath keeper bodyguard at events contesting the electoral results in Michigan.
And, in December 2020, he worked security with other Oath keepers in Florida for Roger Stone.
Later that January 7 morning at 8:55 am, one and one-half hours after the other Florida Oath keepers arrived and departed with their weapons, Kenneth Harrelson, using the call sign ‘Gator 6’, messaged Florida Oath keepers: “So we’re just leaving DC and I would like to know where my shits (sic) at since it seems everyone’s gone already.”
Harrelson is alleged by prosecutors to have dropped at least three long gun cases at the Comfort Inn on the morning of January 5th with Mr. Stamey.
“We are headed out now,” responded one Florida Oath keeper.
Another person replied, “Did u leave it at Comfort Inn in that room?”
An irritated Harrelson wrote “No answer ok I’ll just hunt you fuckers down.”
At 9:35 am, Moerschel responded to Harrelson’s message looking for his guns: “DM (direct message) Kane.”
According to prosecutors, Harrelson was at the Comfort Inn “from 9:08 am through 9:48 am, before starting his drive southward.”
Harrelson and Florida Oath keeper Jason Dolan, accompanied by one other Oath keeper whose identity is redacted by prosecutors, arrived at the hotel at 9:00 AM, and exited the 2cd floor elevator without any luggage, according to time-stamped hotel surveillance video.
Prosecutors show video minutes later Harrelson and Dolan retrieving three rifle cases they allege in other court documents he deposited with Mr. Stamey on January 5th.
The video shows Harrelson, Dolan, and another unidentified Oath keeper with his face redacted, ferrying a luggage cart with what appear to be at least three long gun cases walking down a 2cd floor hallway away from a 2cd floor room towards the elevator at 9:15:35 and entering the elevator at 9:15:57 a.m. and exiting the hotel.
Harrelson and Jason Dolan “retrieved those weapons on the morning of January 7 and then departed the Washington, D.C., area for (their) return trip to Florida,” according to April federal court documents.
Then prosecutors attempt again to connect Harrelson and his guns to Mr. Stamey.
“Additional surveillance video from the Comfort Inn shows not just Mr. Harrelson but other individuals who were affiliated with the Oath Keepers, including Person Three and others, carrying up and down from the lobby and back multiple different items that look similar to this large carrying cases that appear to be consistent with rifle cases,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler told the court on April 12, 2021.
All together, 8 members of the Florida Oath keepers are shown in surveillance video to have dropped off or retrieved weapons at the Comfort Inn, prosecutors allege, from the QRF commanded by Stamey.
In every instance of evidence that prosecutors have submitted to the court, hotel registration records show that Stamey and his 3-man team from North Carolina had either not checked into the Comfort Inn on January 5 until after prosecutors say the Florida Oath keepers had deposited their weapons and departed, and retrieved guns on the morning of January 7 after Stamey is known to have checked out.
This suggests the FBI has known those weapons were not left with Mr. Stamey, but rather likely with Mr. Bittner.
North Carolina Oath keepers at January 6
Mostly from three rural, largely agricultural counties in the far southeastern corner of the state bordering South Carolina, 26 members of the North Carolina Oath keepers chapter and other Trump supporters not members of the Oath keepers, paid “between 60 and 70 dollars for round trip tickets” on a commercial charter bus that departed Columbus County, North Carolina “at about 0100-0130 hours” in the early morning of January 6 for the 5 1/2 hour drive to Washington to hear then President Trump and other speakers at the ‘Save America’ rally.
On the early afternoon of January 5, the day before the violence at the Capitol, Stamey and three other North Carolina Oath keepers —two men in their 60’s, one in his 50’s, and one in his 40’s, all armed with their personal weapons who comprised their QRF—drove together ahead of the charter bus in a white 2017 Ford Expedition to Arlington, Virginia. They checked into the Comfort Inn at 12:59 pm on the afternoon of January 5, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capitol, according to newly obtained hotel registration records.
The mission of the North Carolina Oath keepers QRF was to arrive in D.C. ahead of the charter bus to ensure the North Carolina contingent would not encounter any antagonistic opposition, say Oath keepers.
“I drove up the day before in a truck to see where the bus could park, to make sure it was safe. Mainly, we were worried about Antifa because many people said they would be there to start trouble with the Trump supporters, like they did in December and November when there were also big Trump rallies in Washington. People got stabbed, there were fights,” Paul Stamey said.
Two previous post-election rallies in Washington, on November 14 and December 12, resulted in violence between pro-Trump and anti-Trump demonstrators.
“Our job was to make sure if violence broke out between Trump supporters and Antifa or BLM or whoever they were, we could get our people safely out.”
“Sometime around 3:30 on the afternoon of the 5th, after we checked into the Comfort Inn, (retired Navy Lt Commander and Oath keeper affiliate Thomas) Caldwell, his wife Susan, one of my boys, and me, took Caldwell’s truck and we did a recon around downtown D.C. where the Trump speeches were going to be to see if there were any Antifa or BLM to make sure the charter bus route and parking location were secure,” he said.
“We saw nothing—no one except for Trump supporters. There wasn’t a single Antifa or BLM anywhere. I never got out of the car and we were back at the hotel in less than an hour—before 5:00. I never left the hotel after that and never set foot in D.C. again.”
“We knew exactly what the D.C. gun laws were—that’s why we booked a hotel in Virginia,” said Stamey. “We even researched what the knife laws are. No pocket knives with blades more than three inches. We instructed our people to be sure not to carry anything against the law.”
Stamey and others say the North Carolina QRF never left the Virginia Comfort Inn after that.
“There was never any plan for our QRF to go into D.C.—it was a contingency plan to get our people out if things went south,” he said.
“I went downstairs to smoke cigarettes outside the lobby a few times, but that was it. We ordered Italian food from a restaurant near the hotel and it was so good that was the only place we got food from.”
When violence broke out on January 6, instead of participating in the insurrection and violence at the Capitol building, Stamey called at least six leaders of the North Carolina Oath keepers contingent who were walking “about 600 yards away” from the Capitol, and ordered them to gather those who came up on the charter bus, turn around, return to the bus, and immediately leave Washington D.C., according to multiple Oath keepers interviewed who were present.
Their charter bus abruptly left Washington earlier than scheduled, at “around 4:00 p.m.”, before the violence had been quelled, to return to North Carolina, according to multiple North Carolina Oath keepers interviewed.
“It was sometime between 2:15 and 2:30,” Stamey recalled. “I was watching it live in my hotel room when I saw all Hell breaking loose and people attack law enforcement. I called my commander, (North Carolina state chapter head) George Smith, who was on the ground with our people, but the phone lines were all clogged up. I called another guy and said ‘Where the Hell is George?’ He said ‘He is about 100 feet behind me.’ I said ‘you take a God damn rope and you swing it around his ass and don’t let go until I talk to him.’ I got a hold of George and said ‘George, where are you? You need to gather up all the boys and get back to the bus—now! There are people at the Capitol who seem to have lost their minds.’”
When “Those idiots attacked the Capitol, we turned around and went back to North Carolina,” Stamey said.
Around noon on January 6, national Oath keeper head Stewart Rhodes positioned himself immediately outside the Capitol building and remained there when violence peaked that afternoon.
At 11:57 a.m., with “God Bless America” playing in the background, Trump began imploring the crowd to march to the Capitol building saying "you'll never take back our country with weakness."
Trump said he had told Vice President Pence to block the counting of electoral college votes and ratification of the winner, president-elect Joseph Biden, but Pence announced at 1:00 p.m. he would not support Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud.
Trump said he would “never concede.”
Trump finished his speech at 1:11 p.m. with “We fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. So we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue – I love Pennsylvania Avenue – and we are going to the Capitol.”
“We’re going to try and give them [Congress] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country" concluding with “We will not let them silence your voices.”
Thousands of Trump supporters began walking the 1.5 miles from the Ellipse down Pennsylvania ave. towards the Capitol building, chanting “USA! USA!”.
At 2:11 p.m., a mob chased police up the steps, breached the final barricade near the Senate chamber and, two minutes later, entered the Capitol through broken windows.
Vice President Pence was ushered by his secret service security detail from the Senate chamber into an office separated only by a door from the insurrectionists, and by 2:14, now inside the Capitol building, chased Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman up stairs near the Senate chamber as police locked the doors as they roamed the halls of Congress chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence!’ who was soon spirited by Secret Service agents to more secure tunnels underneath the Capitol.
For the first time in U.S. history, a losing president, Trump, had obstructed and stopped the Constitutional process of a peaceful transition of presidential power from a defeated incumbant to the duly elected next president of the United States.
It was the worst breach of the Capitol building since the War of 1812 when British invaders ransacked Congress and burned down the White House.
At the same time, both President Trump and Paul Stamey were watching the events unfold on live TV—Stamey from his room at the Comfort Inn and Trump back at the White House in his private dining room.
Trump tweeted an opposite message to his supporters than Stamey did to his North Carolina Oath keepers contingent who were then approaching the Capitol building.
“I must have called Smith and several others from our group 6 or 7 times to make sure our people were back on the bus, safe and accounted for, and on the road back to North Carolina,” said Stamey. “And that is exactly what we did. We didn’t want nothing to do with what was going on at the Capitol.”
Smith, and 5 other North Carolina Oath keepers who rode up on the charter bus and were “near 3rd street about 600 yards from the Capitol building” when insurrectionists first assaulted cops and breached barricades, confirmed Stamey called them personally and instructed them to return to the charter bus, they said in interviews.
“We were horrified,” said Smith. “We went to Washington to support President Trump. When we saw what was going on, we left.”
Stamey’s first call was to North Carolina Oath keeper, John Roeper, a retired 27-year career FBI agent, who was in charge of security for the 26 members on the ground who rode up on the charter bus to Washington January 6.
As a former law enforcement officer, Roeper was exempt from Washington’s strict gun laws and one of the very few private citizens legally carrying a concealed handgun in Washington the day of the insurrection.
“Around 2:15-2:30, we saw people break into and go inside the Capitol,” Stamey recalled. “I called Roeper first. I told him to gather our people and head back to the charter bus because demonstrators were attacking cops at the Capitol.”
Roeper was tasked with staying with the charter bus the whole day to ensure that the only transport available to the North Carolinians to make a quick exit was protected from attack by what many Oath keepers believed might be violent mobs of political opponents, who they mainly defined as Antifa or Black Lives Matter activists.
But Oath keepers say they saw no Antifa or BLM that day, and none have been identified as present January 6. They say the violence they witnessed came only from pro-Trump supporters.
Even Oath keepers national head Stewart Rhodes acknowledged as much in the hours after the riot was quelled.
“Look, I WAS THERE. I WAS RIGHT OUSIDE (sic),” Rhodes messaged other Oath keepers on the late afternoon of January 6 in the immediate wake of the violence at the Capitol. “Patriots stormed in. Not Antifa. And I don’t blame them. They were justifiably pissed off.”
“Ok who gives a damn who went in there. If it’s Obama himself it doesn’t matter,” responded Florida Oath keepers state chapter head Kelly Meggs. “What matters is where we are now and decisions that have to be mad (sic). We are now the enemy of the state.”
“As I figured,” chimed in Florida Oath keeper Graydon Young, using the user name ‘GenXPatriot’. “This organization is a huge fuckin joke. You, Stewart, are the dumb ass I heard you were. Good luck getting rich off those dumbass PSD donations you fuck stick.”
PSD is an acronym for Personal Security Detail. While most Oath keepers in Washington January 6 were assigned to protect VIP speakers, such as Roger Stone and Ali Alexander at the Trump rally January 5 and that day, but none of the North Carolina contingent were because they arrived in D.C. independently and were not coordinating with Rhodes and his national organization.
Roeper, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is known to have been interviewed by his former FBI colleagues and to have told them no members of the North Carolina Oath keepers contingent participated in the attack on the Capitol building.
During his interview, the FBI asked him “Why the Hell would you be part of an organization like this?”
According to North Carolina chapter head Doug Smith, Roeper responded “Well, why wouldn’t you?’
In his interviews with the FBI, Roeper corroborated that he, Stamey, and the North Carolina ’QRF’ were tasked, if violence broke out, with executing an exit plan to evacuate the chapter members who travelled on the charter bus, not to enter Washington D.C. in support of insurrectionists.
"That is the “Truth - I was one of the people who Paul called,” said Larry Bass, another North Carolina Oath keeper who travelled on the charter bus and was on the ground outside the Capitol January 6. “We didn't truly recognize the (severity) of the situation until we got calls from Paul telling us that he was watching the events unfold LIVE on TV, and that we should board the bus and head back for NC.”
“Most of our group remained 2-3 blocks away from the Capitol grounds,” he said in an interview. “My buddy and I got closer to the Capitol grounds than the majority of our group, but a wading pool separated us from the grounds. We could see the protesters climbing the steps and the walls of the building, and the clouds of gas that surrounded them. It was surreal. We headed back to join the main group just before Paul called again to alert us of the mayhem going on at the parts of the building that we could not see.”
“As our group of NCOK’s was preparing to head back to our bus, the mayor of DC sent out an alert to everyone's cell phone advising of a curfew that would go into place that evening. We headed for the bus and departed DC around 1600 (4-PM-ish).”
Washington mayor Muriel Bowser issued the curfew at 2:31 p.m. over Twitter—minutes before other Oath keepers are known to have breached police line and entered the Capitol at 2:40 p.m. The timing of her order appears to corroborate Bass’s and Stamey’s recollection of the time frame.
Unlike most North Carolina Oath keepers who requested anonymity when contacted by this reporter, Bass agreed to speak on the record, but he remained wedded to widely debunked conspiracy theories that January 6 was a ‘false flag’ instigated by anti-Trump elements in cahoots with members of the ‘Deep State’.
“For all I know, you work for the domestic enemy,” he said in an email response to a reporter’s first request for an interview. “I personally believe that nefarious provocateurs (possibly Antifa, BLM, &/or federal agents/informants) instigated the riot.”
Bass, who also has been interviewed by FBI investigators, and corroborated Stamey’s account to them, is a retired 23-year veteran of the United States Air Force who has worked as an EMS helicopter pilot, and currently is an Aviation Safety Inspector at the Federal Aviation Administration.
In a February 9, 2021 interview with the Columbus County, North Carolina News Reporter, state chapter head George Smith said “We listened to Trump’s speech and went to the bus and our people got on the bus and we were going to go to the Capitol to hear more speeches. We were coming up the (national) mall and coming up Third Avenue…and I heard the first explosion at that time, like a flashbang or something.”
Smith said at first, he thought it was Antifa or other anti-Trump demonstrators clashing with the pro-Trump supporters. “It became pretty obvious even at that distance that this was something else. We stood and watched…and I said, ‘This is it, we ain’t going no further,’ and we stood there probably 45 minutes and we turned around and got on the bus.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would get up there fighting with Capitol police and entering the Capitol,” Smith said.
“I can promise you that no North Carolina Oath Keepers were involved with what happened at the Capitol building that day,” said Smith in an earlier January 22, 2021 interview with the Columbus County News, https://columbuscountynews.com/2021/01/state-organization-breaks-ties-with-oath-keepers/ an independent local North Carolina media outlet.
“The actions of a few others has shamed each man from our state, and they fear their reputations as law-abiding citizens has been sullied in our law enforcement brethren’s eyes.”
In the days after the January 6 riot, the North Carolina Oath keepers state chapter announced it was formally severing ties with the national organization run by Stewart Rhodes.
Smith is named as unindicted co-conspirator “Person Number Five” in the government conspiracy court filings, and has been interviewed multiple times by FBI agents as a target of prosecutors.
Another North Carolina Oath keeper, Navy veteran Bill Abshire, who also travelled up to D.C. on the charter bus, confirmed Stamey’s account of events January 6.
“We listened to Trump’s speech and then headed towards the Capitol and saw people standing on the scaffolding. We said ‘What the Hell is going on here?’ Paul was watching it on TV and called us to tell our folks to return to the bus,” Abshire recalled in a telephone interview.
“Honestly, after Trump’s speech, we were mostly hanging around a taco food truck,” Abshire said. “A couple of our guys had gone shopping and we had to find them so everyone could get back to the bus. We left D.C. around 4:00 and went back to North Carolina.”
“I don’t know who those dumb ass’s who went into the building were. We didn’t have anything to do with them,” Abshire continued. “I was in the Navy. You don’t go into a government building without credentials. Those Capitol Police could have just mowed them all down and it would have been legal.”
Abshire, like many of the North Carolina Oath keepers, has also been visited by the FBI who questioned him about the state chapter QRF. Abshire said he confirmed to the FBI in detail Stamey’s account of their QRF.
“They wanted to know about the QRF,” he said. “I told them Paul and our guys were just doing security, watching for Antifa or whoever those guys were who were in D.C. in November. I told the FBI, there were no guns that I saw or knew about.”
“I didn’t see a single one of them Antifa that day,” said Abshire.
“People did stupid stuff. We didn’t. We left,” he concluded.
In interviews, all members of the North Carolina Oath keepers contingent denied they participated in any illegal actions and insist the government has no evidence otherwise.
“The FBI seems to have all the recordings of everything else, so they got to have those, too,” said Stamey. “It wasn’t like the government makes it out to be,” Stamey said.
No members of the North Carolina chapter of the Oath keepers have been accused or charged with breaking any laws on January 6, but three are listed as unnamed co-conspirators in the federal indictments.
More than two dozen members of the North Carolina state chapter have been visited by the FBI, according to Oath keepers interviewed.
One said that his FBI interviewer said 80 more people in that state were still scheduled to be interviewed regarding the January 6 insurrection.
Numerous other North Carolina and other Oath keepers have been subpoenaed to testify in front of federal grand juries or the Congressional January 6 Committee.
It was not able to be independently confirmed whether other members of the North Carolina Oath keepers were present in prohibited restricted areas around the Capitol, participated in violence, or other illegal activity, but no members of the state chapter are publicly alleged to have or been charged with violating any laws on January 6.
At the end of July, Stamey, through his attorney, contacted the FBI and Department of Justice prosecutors and requested a meeting. On September 9, seven members of the prosecution team, including FBI investigators and chief prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy, met with Stamey in person and via video conference, according to sources directly involved. The five-hour meeting ended when prosecutors declined to provide any new evidence against Stamey or name what charges he faced.
“Is that all you got?” Stamey’s attorney asked.
“We don’t have to provide you with any evidence,” prosecutors responded.
“You know if you had more, you would show it,” responded Stamey’s attorney, before the meeting ended amicably but without resolution.
Paul Stamey has a Thomas Caldwell Problem:
Guns, Boats, Hollywood, and the Oath keepers Quick Reaction Force
But Paul Stamey does have a Thomas Caldwell problem.
65-year old retired U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Thomas Caldwell of the rural Shenandoah Valley town of Berryville, Virginia, was arrested in the first group of Oath keepers charged in January 2021 and a defendant with eleven others charged with ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ in January 2022.
A former businessman with 100% service-related disability, Caldwell’s company, Progressive Technologies Management, was awarded millions of dollars in government defense and security contracts providing computer services to the FBI, the DEA, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and other federal agencies in the early 2000’s, when he held a secret level security clearance.
Prosecutors allege Caldwell was a central figure in the Oath keepers ‘seditious conspiracy’ case, and is key to the government narrative linking Stamey and other Oath keepers to each other, particularly to connect the dots between Oath keepers and the armed Quick Reaction Force they assert was poised to deploy arms and commandos to support the insurrectionists at the Capitol.
At first glance, Caldwell’s intercepted online chatter and rhetoric in the days before and after January 6—if not his actions—was certainly incendiary and among the most damning evidence bolstering the prosecution’s conspiracy case.
On the night of January 6, Caldwell bragged of his exploits that day: "It was instinct to snatch up my American flag and race for capitol steps while the patriot stereos were blasting the song 'we're not gonna take it anymore' and we were screaming along as one," he wrote. “So I grabbed up my American flag and said ‘let's take the damn capitol’ so people started surging forward and climbing the scaffolding outside so I said ‘let’s storm the place and hang the traitors.’ Everybody thought that was a good idea so we did.”
“If we'd had guns I guarantee we would have killed 100 politicians,” Caldwell added. "They ran off and were spirited away through their underground tunnels like the rats they were.”
“The people in front of me broke through the doors and started duking it out with the pigs who broke and ran. Then we started stealing the cops riot shields and throwing fire extinguishers through windows.”
"It was a great time," he concluded.
In fact, Caldwell did none of those things.
But, despite stark evidence Caldwell was a blowhard who made inflammatory claims of his heroics on social media, there is little evidence that Caldwell did anything illegal beyond trespassing on Capitol grounds.
He never “storm(ed) the place”, prosecutors now agree, and video and other evidence shows, despite his post-insurrection braggadocio claiming he did.
On the morning of January 6, Caldwell travelled on a subway train from the Arlington, Virginia Comfort Inn to Washington to hear Trump speak and then marched with the crowd to the restricted grounds outside the Capitol, where, alone with his wife, Susan, stopped and witnessed the violence, but never attempted to enter the Capitol building. He was not with any other Oath keepers.
In fact, Caldwell was not a member of the Oath keepers, not on any of the militia group’s invitation-only encrypted chat groups organizing for January 6, and had no contact with Stewart Rhodes or other leaders of the militia group on January 6, prosecutors, his legal team, and other evidence shows.
Caldwell might be best described as a ‘groupie’ of the far-right militia movement, an eager supporter who wanted to be a member of the boys club, but was rejected.
“Caldwell wanted to be an Oath keeper, but he was living a damn fantasy in his head with his big commando bullshit,” said North Carolina Oath keeper leader George Smith. “He was talking like he was some sort of private army.”
Caldwell’s Walter Mitty-esq antics and language, have come back to haunt him—and Paul Stamey.
Court papers say Caldwell organized hotel accommodations for armed insurrectionists, brought weapons to January 6, attempted to secure boats to ferry guns across the Potomac River to assist insurrectionists attacking the Capitol, and provided other logistical support—all allegations used to show Stamey and others collaborated with Caldwell to help coordinate the conspiracy to violently attack the Capitol.
“A major part of his role in the conspiracy was organizing individuals who were on standby with guns in a hotel across the river,” wrote Assistant US Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy in a March 2021 court filing, adding Caldwell’s role January 6 was “among the most concerning aspects of the conspiracy and for which the evidence has only strengthened."
“Caldwell, that dumb ass, if it wasn’t for the bullshit he said on those chat sites which the feds got a hold of, I wouldn’t have the problems I do now,” said Stamey. “I really should hate the guy, but I can’t bring myself to. He was a nice guy. I liked him. But I will guarantee you this—Caldwell was no threat to nobody.”
“He wasn’t even a member of the Oath keepers. He didn’t have authority to do anything. He wasn’t in any of the Oath keeper commo groups,” said Stamey. “He was living like he was in a Hollywood movie.”
Sources close to Caldwell say he had been heavily medicated “on prescription opiates” in the weeks prior to and on January 6, as a result of several spinal surgeries, which affected his state of mind.
Oath keepers who knew Caldwell say, in the weeks prior to January 6, he had ramped up his vision to a realm of fantasy, with patriots descending on D.C. with tomahawks to save the republic from what Caldwell believed was a Chinese Communist Party controlled Democratic Party—which included the president-elect of the United States.
They say Caldwell indulged in fantastical rhetorical dramatics of personal derring-do they dismissed as the over-exuberance of a harmless but likable man.
“What the Government misunderstands is that Caldwell’s language and personality center around his military career and his addiction to Hollywood,” writes his attorney, David Fischer.
Caldwell’s IRS tax records show he claimed he worked writing Hollywood screen plays that are “dusty and were written with a typewriter.” according to Fischer, who says he has copies.
One depicts a “dog fight” between rival aircraft, with one pilot radioing out “Buzzard One, this is Slingshot, I got two bogies on my six; say again, two bogies on my six; May-day, May-day.”
Some of Caldwell’s social media comments cited by the Government are quotes from Hollywood movies. “The best example is ‘storming the castle’ and ‘I’m such an instigator.’ These are classic lines from the 1980s classic movie The Princess Bride,” wrote Fischer.
One of Caldwell’s email accounts is "the_spy54@****.com", the “54” being a reference to the year of his birth.
He signed his message communications “CAG” and “Spy.”
In a March appeal for his release from pre-trial detention, a supporter offered a less gentle assessment of Caldwell: “His speech is sharp but his blades are dull.”
Stamey recalls Caldwell’s action movie prose in email exchanges in the run-up to January 6.
“In December, Caldwell sent me 4 or 5 paragraphs about planning for D.C. that read exactly like a movie script,” said Stamey. “He was writing about bringing Tomahawks to D.C. I said ‘Tomahawks?!? WTF? Tomahawks?!? Really? I called George Smith up and said ‘George, take a look at this.’”
“If he was a member of the Oath keepers, we would have kicked him out then. He was just blowing smoke,” said Stamey. “It was like he was in his own world, living a movie script he was writing in his own head.”
The Tomahawks Caldwell ordered were called ‘Zombie Killers’ and were cited in federal court documents.
In addition, in November 2020 Caldwell ordered a .380 caliber handgun disguised as a cell phone. In December he messaged the gun dealer saying he was eager to receive the device: “I am eager to receive this weapon.” After January 6, when the cell phone gun had still not arrived, Caldwell cancelled the order and asked for his money back.
Thomas Caldwell’s $570 November 21, 2020 purchase of a handgun disguised as a cell phone
“Caldwell said some very stupid stuff, but honestly, no one took him seriously. I didn’t take him seriously,” added Stamey.
But the government certainly does.
Caldwell’s phone messaging with Stamey are among the most incriminating evidence tying Stamey to the conspiracy.
“Caldwell conspired with Person Three, who, in Defendant Caldwell’s words, was ‘committed to being the quick reaction force and bringing the tools if something goes to hell. That way the boys don’t have to try to schlep weps on the bus,’” prosecutors wrote in early 2021 court filings.
In April, prosecutors released surveillance video from the Comfort Inn they said shows Oath Keepers "carrying up and down, from the lobby and back…including Person Three...multiple items" that look like long guns.
Among them were two frame grabs of Thomas Caldwell’s gun from Comfort Inn surveillance video prosecutors say is evidence of the hotel being the headquarters of the ‘QRF’ Caldwell helped organize headed by Paul Stamey.
One photograph shows Caldwell walking out of an elevator into a hotel 2cd floor hallway carrying what appears to be a rifle loosely wrapped in a blanket toward his room when he checked into the hotel on January 5th—time stamped “1/5/2021 02:34:19 PM”
A 2cd photograph time-stamped 5:11 pm, January 6 “after Caldwell and Person Two (his wife, Susan) returned to the Comfort Inn from the Capitol” depicts “Person Three visit(ing) Defendant Caldwell carrying a large and long object wrapped under a bed sheet” walking down a Comfort Inn 2cd floor hallway from Stamey’s room towards Caldwell’s room.
Prosecutors allege that the image of Caldwell bringing a gun into the hotel January 5, the day before the insurrection, and the image of Stamey returning that same gun in the late afternoon of January 6 is proof that Stamey stored Caldwell’s weapon in his room as part of a much larger multi-state Oath keepers conspiracy to stockpile “an arsenal of heavy weapons” at the Comfort Inn.
It is the only photographic evidence released to date by prosecutors connecting Stamey to any weapons he is alleged to have '“stockpiled” as commanding the Oath keepers QRF.
“There is evidence to suggest that Defendant Caldwell may have contributed a weapon or other equipment to the QRF’s cache,” prosecutor wrote. “On January 5, 2021, Defendant Caldwell visited Person Three’s room at the Comfort Inn carrying a large and long object wrapped under a bed sheet.”
Stamey has a more innocuous explanation.
“Yeah, that’s me,” Stamey said of the hotel surveillance image. “I was returning Caldwell .22 rifle peashooter he brought to my room the night before. We got drunk and the dumb ass forgot it in my room.”
According to Stamey’s account, Caldwell brought his newly acquired 22. caliber rifle, kitted out to resemble an AR style war weapon, to Stamey’s room the previous night to show it off and the two finished off a half-filled bottle of Jim Beam whiskey.
“In November, I brought a bottle of Jim Beam and left the still half filled bottle at Caldwell’s farm as a gift,” said Stamey. “That dumb ass Caldwell brought the same bottle—still half-filled—to D.C. and we drank it. He brought his 22 caliber rifle to my room to show it off to me,” continued Stamey.
“I’m a Marine. The first thing I did was pull out the magazine and checked the chamber and cleared it. There was no ammunition. I don’t even know if he brought any ammo with him.”
“We finished off the whiskey and when he left—and I’ll be honest with you, we were both drunk—Caldwell forgot his gun, because when I woke up in the morning, it was leaning against the wall in my room. That picture was me returning the weapon after I waited for him and his wife to get back from the Capitol that afternoon to return his bird gun he forgot in my room the night before,” Stamey recalled.
“He was all red faced. I handed him that rifle. I asked Caldwell, ‘Tom, you didn’t go into that Capitol building, did you?’ He said he did. I didn’t say anything. I just looked at him, turned around, and walked away,” Stamey said. “Later I asked him again, ‘Tom did you go inside the Capitol?’ He admitted he didn’t.”
“I checked out within, like, fifteen minutes of going to his room and dropping off his gun.”
“All of my team were already waiting for me downstairs outside the hotel lobby,” said Stamey. “The feds have video of that, too. How come they haven’t released that video?’
“Honestly, I was a pissed off at him because I was suppose to have convoyed with the North Carolina charter bus which had already left D.C. because of what those idiots had just done at the Capitol,” said Stamey.
“The government has video of that, too, but that wouldn’t fit their story,” Stamey said. “They have all the hotel videos that show me checking out around 5:30 p.m. on the 6th. Damn, they have all the videos that show all those boys they say left weapons with me went to someone else’s room. I know they damn sure didn’t drop any guns off with me.”
“Apparently, the only ‘shots’ taken by Person Three on January 6th were from glasses,” quipped Caldwell’s attorney, David Fischer, in a March 2021 court filing. “Person Three—the Quick Reaction Force–is in his late 60s, obese, has cardio-pulmonary issues, a bad back, a bum knee, and in need of a hip replacement.”
“That sounds about right—except for the hip replacement. I don’t know where they got that. My hip might be the only part of me doing just fine at the moment,” quipped Stamey, who requires a cane to walk.
“Caldwell portrays himself like actor Mel Gibson in the movie ‘The Patriot’, picking up an American flag and leading the charge,” said Fischer. “Unlike Mel Gibson, however, Caldwell has undergone multiple spinal fusions, is permanently disabled, and requires the occasional use of a cane to ambulate.”
“That is what the government says was the Quick Reaction Force—a couple of old cripples with bird guns,” Stamey said. “At least those were the only guns I saw.”
In the immediate wake of the insurrection on the late afternoon of January 6, Stewart Rhodes received a call from the 1st Praetorian Guards, known as 1AP, a militia group closely associated with former Trump National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and January 6 organizer Ali Alexander. It was a dinner invitation to a Virginia Olive Garden to gather and assess the events that day.
The small group of very worried protagonists of the Capitol insurrection included two members of 1AP; the girlfriend of one of the 1AP members; Rhodes; his confidante and Texas attorney Kellye SoRelle; the January 6 ‘operational lead’ and ‘ground commander’ for the Oath keepers, Michael ‘Whip’ Simmons; two Kentucky Oath keepers; the head of the Southeast region Oath keepers, Alabaman Joshua James; and Arizona Oath keeper affiliate Edward Vallejo.
During dinner, SoRelle received a phone call from republican activist Marsha Strickler. Strickler told her that “cops were kicking down hotel room doors and arresting people and they were looking for Stewart,” recalled SoRelle. “Marsha Strickler scared the shit out of me.”
Michael ‘Whip’ Simmons remembers SoRelle receiving the phone call. “At dinner, Kellye got a phone call saying cops were arresting people and looking for Stewart. Everyone left the Olive Garden, went back to their hotels, packed our stuff and we met up at a gas station nearby.”
The Oath keepers leaders in four vehicles rendezvoused at a nearby Virginia gas station after dark.
“Remember, we had no idea what was going on. There was no plan for what ended up happening January 6 that we knew about and all of a sudden Stewart and Oath keepers had their photos on every news outlet in the country accused of trying to violently overthrow the government and people were telling us they were hunting us down,” recalled SoRelle. ‘His phone was ringing off the hook from Oath keepers, the media, other groups.”
At the gas station, the alarmed group discussed the ramifications of January 6 and, according to prosecutors, Rhodes “divided up various firearms and other gear among James and others.”
Rhodes purchased more than $40,000 in guns and military equipment in the days immediately January 6, prosecutors say.
“On December 30, 2020, RHODES purchased two night-vision devices and one weapon sight for approximately $7,000.”
“On January 1 and 2, 2021, RHODES spent approximately $5,000 on firearms and related equipment, including a shotgun, scope, magazines, sights, optics, a bipod, a mount, a case of ammunition, and gun-cleaning supplies.”
“On January 3, 2021, RHODES departed Granbury, Texas, and began traveling to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.While traveling, RHODES spent approximately $6,000 in Texas on an AR-platform rifle and firearms equipment, including sights, mounts, triggers, slings, and additional firearms attachments.”
“On January 4, 2021, while still traveling toward the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, RHODES spent approximately $4,500 in Mississippi on firearms equipment, including sights, mounts, an optic plate, a magazine, and various firearms parts.”
“James saw what he estimated to be thousands of dollars worth of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment in Rhode’s vehicle,” prosecutors wrote in court filings.
“I only remember one gun Stewart gave Joshua James,” recalled Simmons. “And he gave his cell phone to someone else. It wasn’t like a cache. Stewart was always giving away stuff after an event.”
Rhodes insisted on not departing in the same car he arrived from in Washington with SoRelle. He gave her his cell phone in attempt to disrupt government efforts to track his location.
“To be fair, Stewart didn’t want to drag me or others into it if the feds arrested him,” said SoRelle.
The group abruptly left Washington in different directions. SoRelle headed toward Texas, Joshua James towards Alabama, Simmons home to Indiana, and Rhodes rode with two Kentucky Oath keepers to their home state, where he rendezvoused with Sorelle and they continued to Alabama where they met James for lunch the following day.
On his car ride out of Washington the night of January 6, Rhodes emailed his wife, Tasha Adams, in Montana.
“I highly recommend you get it out and buy food, medicine, fuel. And some cash,” Rhodes messaged at 9:34 pm on the night of January 6 as he was fleeing from perceived federal authorities from D.C. “Keep our kids safe. I have no idea what will happen. I hope Trump acts now. But regardless it will be dangerous and uncertain. I love our kids so much and miss them. Tell them that please. Be safe and keep safe”
Adams shares six children with Rhodes and separated from him in 2018. She is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce with the Oath keepers leader.
“So having spent decades reading tiny little clues and changes in Stewart's mood as a form of self defense, this email made me nervous,” recalled Adams. “Of course talking about food and medicine was weird but not unlike him. What struck me as nervous breakdown mode was that he used the ‘please’, and…also he said ‘our’ kids, something he would do if he was feeling desperate as a way of trying to show that we have a connection. I think most people would think I was crazy pointing out something so small but as a person who studies human weirdness maybe you kind of know what I mean here.”
In Alabama, Rhodes urged James to change his physical identity, purchase untraceable ‘burner’ phones, and gather up all his weapons and any others he could muster, including those from other southeast state members under his charge, and bring them to Texas.
Rhodes warned that a ‘civil war’ had begun, and wanted to gather his troops and muster as many weapons in Texas.
Alabama Oath keeper Mark Grods declined, as did Florida Oath keepers chapter head Kelly Meggs.
But Joshua James headed to the suburbs of Dallas where Rhodes had couch surfed with several Oath keepers and affiliates before and after January 6.
In the 10 days after January 6, Rhodes bought $20,000 worth of more guns and military kit and summoned other Oath keepers to Texas, convinced that a civil war had begun, the federal government were going to swoop in and arrest him, and insisted that he would not be taken alive.
In Texas, while acting as Rhodes lieutenant and bodyguard, James accompanied Rhodes on a gun buying spree. On January 10 he spent, “$6,000 on sights, bipods, a scope, mounts, backpacks, a gun grip, a magazine pouch, and other related items,” according to prosecutors. The next day he spent $1,500 “on scopes, magazines, and other items” and the following day, January 12, paid for “$7,000 on hundreds of rounds of ammunition, duffel bags, magazines, rifle scopes, a scope mount, a gun light, and other items.” In the following two days, Rhodes bought an additional $3,000 of “firearms parts, mounts, magazines, a scope leveler, targets, ammunition, a gun case, holsters, and gun-maintenance equipment, among other items.”
“When we got back to Texas, Stewart became very paranoid. That is when he started talking all this ‘civil war’ stuff and he wouldn’t be captured alive” recalled Kellye Sorelle who was with Rhodes and other Oath keepers in the suburbs of Dallas during that time.
“Stewart was living out of the trunk his car. He was having PTSD. So was Joshua James for that matter,” she said.
In Texas, Rhodes insisted that all cell phones be turned off and removed from the room before discussing events related to January 6.
Stewart Rhodes was having a mental health breakdown.
“That is not an exaggeration,” said SoRelle. “He was scared.”
Rhodes vowed he wouldn’t be taken alive.
Joshua James approached SoRelle and said “I am really worried about Stewart. He is losing it, talking about how this is all about to go full blown World War Three.”
According to another Oath keepers leader who was on the ground in D.C., Rhodes called him in the days after January 6 to warn him that the federal government was about to launch a surface to air missile targeting his home located in a major metropolitan American city. “Yeah, that was very weird. Really. WTF?” said the Oath keeper, who requested anonymity, in an interview.
"He lived in fear of 'the feds' coming for him,” said his wife, Tasha Adams, in a 2022 interview, referring to secret tunnels he built on their Montana property. “He had long tunnels in the ground at one point. He would never drive anywhere without an AK on his lap. He was paranoid of everything. Not just law enforcement. He was fearful of weather, break-ins, animals.”
“It might sound crazy, but he did stuff like this fairly regularly,” Adams recalled. “Digging tunnels, switching cars, ditching phones, only having meeting in the woods under trees so satellites couldn't read their lips.”
Rhodes built escape tunnels on his Montana property in the event of a government raid to arrest him, according to Adams.
“He rented a backhoe, enlisted a rotating cast of what the kids called yard people (random oath keepers who stayed for a while) and dug from the house to the cover of trees. The plan was to have them go out to a creek to shake scent and then an escape car would be on a forest service road pointed to Idaho.”
“He blew through people fast fast enough that they thought they were seeing a sudden breakdown,” she said in an April interview. “I just saw a ‘here he goes again’ moment.”
“Stewart owns nothing,” Adams said. “No house. No car. No assets—except his gun collection,” said Adams.
The tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Oath keepers, all controlled by Rhodes, were mostly spent on weapons, according to Adams.
On January 8, Rhodes, through Sorelle, instructed Oath keepers who were in D.C. January 6 to delete all their encrypted messages.
SoRelle contends the message has been taken out of context by prosecutors. “It wasn’t go delete their stuff or destroy your phones,” she said. “It was ‘quit talking to each other, stop creating witnesses, stop confessing stuff. Preserve your rights,’” she said. ‘Call me and I will explain your rights.’”
But it was too late. Rhodes was arrested in January 2022 and charged with ‘Seditious Conspiracy.’
The Far Right Turns on its Own
In late June, far-right wing Trump loyalists in Congress and their partisan media echoed new republican party talking points attempting to divert attention from those responsible for the January 6 insurrection.
They began eating their own.
Having abandoned the initial false narrative the violence was organized by Antifa, it was now ‘undercover FBI operatives’ working for ‘the Deep State’ that were the dark hand behind the January 6 insurrection, blaming the violence on covert FBI agent provocateurs.
In a twisted irony, they identified the “undercover FBI” culprits behind the violence as the same Oath keepers targeted by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
They accused Paul Stamey of being an “undercover operative” for the FBI.
”Person Two and Person Three were organizers of the riot. The government knows who they are, but the government has not charged them,” Fox News personality Tucker Carlson said in early July. “Why is that? You know why. They were almost certainly working for the FBI.”
“Look at the documents, the government calls those people ‘un-indicted co-conspirators,’” Carlson said. ”What does that mean? Well, it means that in potentially every single case they were FBI operatives.”
Far right defenders of the insurrection in Congress, including Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, formally called for an investigation into whether the FBI was secretly behind the January 6 violence.
“Wow! I really don’t know what to say,” Stamey responded when sent the Fox News clip of Carlson’s accusation. “I’m being accused by the FBI of trying to violently overthrow my government and now accused of secretly working undercover for the FBI trying to overthrow the government. Wow! WTF? I wasn’t either of those things.”
When Stamey voluntarily met with prosecutors and the FBI on September 9, one FBI agent turned to him and asked in a friendly tone “So, what do you think about Tucker?”
“Not much. Pretty much what I think about you guys,” said Stamey.
“Honestly, I was a big supporter of Trump. I still think he did some good things. But he can go to Hell. He just used us,” said Stamey. “I have always been all about supporting law enforcement, but now I don’t trust the FBI at all. I liked Tucker, too. Now I don’t believe anything until I see it with my own eyes.”
When Stamey, who is diabetic, left the Comfort Inn on the late afternoon of January 6 for the drive back to North Carolina with the other three members of his QRF, he “pulled out my backpack to get my insulin. One of my boys had attached a sticker to the outside that said ‘I’m too sober for this shit,’” Stamey recalled. “Looking back on it, I was too sober for anything that happened that day.”
Mr. Stamey expects to be arrested at any time.
“I told the FBI and the prosecutors when we met—I remember actually standing up to tell them—'‘I take great exception to the fact you would insinuate I wanted to commit treason against our country.’”
“I’d be lying if I said this whole thing hasn’t taken a toll on me,” Stamey said. “I’m 66. My health isn’t good. I’m going through my third divorce. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on lawyers. It might not be a lot for some people, but it was all I got. If they arrest me, I very well might die in jail.”
“But I will say this,” Stamey continued. “I will never take a damn plea deal because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“It is times like this in life when you learn who your true friends are,” said Stamey. “I’ve put my affairs in order. I don’t mostly sleep at home these days afraid the FBI will come with a swat team and armored personnel carriers in the middle of the night and I don’t want them to hurt my dogs or drag my wife into this.”
In Florida, Oath keeper Jeremy Brown’s girlfriend is overwhelmed, too, since her 27-year career Army Special Forces partner was arrested October 2cd.
“January 6 was our first trip out of state in our RV. I was excited to travel. I’d never been to Washington and wanted to see the sights,” she recalled. “We were ready to retire and travel. It was beautiful-our first RV park. I love it and now it’s just sitting (:.”
“I just saw him on video visit. It’s been 130 days. Unbelievable,” Aldridge said in February. “He misses his dogs and they miss him. I can’t wait to videotape their reunion.”
In jail house calls since Brown was arrested “He told me if I miss him when I am in bed alone at night to act as if he's deployed,” Aldridge said. “That makes things easier. He said he's on a very special mission and important things will come of this horrible situation.”
“Can you imagine if, instead of punching cops and attacking the Capitol, Oath keepers had stood shoulder to shoulder protecting the cops?” retired career U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and North Carolina Oath Keepers state chapter leader George Douglas Smith said. “Where would Stewart Rhodes or the Oath keepers be today? He would be a national hero. Now all our names are sullied.”
This is the 1st in a 3-part series focused on the Oath keepers, the QRF’s, and alleged armed commandos poised to assault the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Part 2 will address the issue of the alleged scheme to procure boats to cross the Potomac River in boats laden with heavy weapons to assist in the violent assault on the Capitol building, details of the Florida Oath keepers chapter, their rendezvous with the North Carolina chapter in vehicles laden with weapons on their way north to Washington, and reporting on other QRF’s and armed contingents in D.C. January 6
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