GOP Rep. Mo Brooks is dodging Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell’s attempts to serve him with a lawsuit over the Capitol riot, attorney says

eric swalwell
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) attends a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on June 24, 2020.

  • Rep. Eric Swalwell is accusing a GOP congressman of evading being served with a lawsuit.
  • Swalwell is suing Rep. Mo Brooks and others for inciting the January 6 insurrection.
  • Swalwell’s attorney told Punchbowl News that Brooks’ avoidance is holding up the lawsuit.
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A Democratic congressman is accusing GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of ducking being served with a lawsuit over his role in the January 6 Capitol riots, Punchbowl News first reported on Friday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who served as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial for former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, is suing Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Brooks, and Rudy Giuliani for inciting the insurrection.

Swalwell’s attorney Phillip Andonian told Punchbowl that they even hired a private investigator to try to pin down Brooks to serve him with the suit, but to no avail.

“We have been attempting to serve our complaint on Mo Brooks for more than a month,” Andonian told Punchbowl News. “I talked to staffers in his D.C. office who promised a response from someone, which never came. I sent the complaint and a waiver of service form in a detailed email to his chief of staff and counsel, which to date remains unanswered.”

Read more: Maj. Gen. William Walker sent help during the Capitol insurrection. Now in a new history-making role, he holds the key to keeping Congress safe and reopening it to the public.

Brooks was one of the most vocal House Republicans pushing false and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the wake of the 2020 election, and helped lead the objection to Electoral College votes from states that voted for President Joe Biden.

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks told the crowd at a rally right before the riot.

However, Brooks denies that his conduct played any role in the riots. He has received Trump’s endorsement for the GOP nomination in the open race to replace longtime Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, who is retiring in 2022.

Andonian said that since the other defendants have agreed to waive service, Brooks’ refusal to be served is holding up the lawsuit from moving forward.

“It seems clear that Brooks is choosing to make a political stunt out of a part of the process that essentially is a formality, which is unfortunate. Although not surprising,” he told Punchbowl.

Brooks isn’t the only Trump ally accused of dodging being served with a suit surrounding the 2020 election.

Dominion Voting Systems said in a court filing that conspiracy-wielding lawyer Sidney Powell, who they are suing for defamation, dodged being served with their lawsuit for weeks, forcing them to hire private investigators and pursue her across state lines.

Dominion is suing Powell and other high-profile figures for publicly accusing Dominions’ voting technology of being involved in a conspiracy to steal the election from Trump. The company is seeking billions of dollars in damages.

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Rep. Liz Cheney says House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy ‘changed his story’ on the Capitol riot

Liz Cheney Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Liz Cheney speaks during a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on July 21, 2020.

Rep. Liz Cheney said House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has “changed his story” on the US Capitol riots in an op-ed for The Washington Post published Wednesday.

Cheney’s comments followed the House Minority Leader privately saying he has “had it with her” on a hot mic after an interview with “Fox and Friends,” signaling his and the House GOP’s waning support for Cheney, who serves as House conference chair. McCarthy and his Republican allies have bristled at Cheney’s public criticism of former President Donald Trump.

In the op-ed, Cheney described how she believes the GOP has reached a “turning point” post-Trump, and that “Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.” She pointed to GOP lawmakers’ reactions to the January 6 siege, and specifically to McCarthy’s public comments about it.

“House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks,” Cheney wrote. “On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: ‘The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.'”

“Now, McCarthy has changed his story,” Cheney said.

She went on to slam some GOP lawmakers’ continued support for Trump after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes. Cheney called her party’s ongoing fealty to Trump “immensely harmful.”

“While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country,” Cheney wrote in the scathing op-ed. “Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people.”

Cheney’s op-ed comes one day after McCarthy said in a Tuesday “Fox and Friends” interview that he has heard “from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message.”

“We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority [in the 2022 midterm elections],” he said on Tuesday.

In an off-air comment to host Steve Doocy, McCarthy could be heard saying he “lost confidence” in her as a Republican leader in the House, Axios reported Tuesday.

“You know, I’ve lost confidence,” McCarthy said. “Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”

In response to McCarthy’s comments on Fox News, Cheney’s communication director Jeremy Adler said: “This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue.”

It is not immediately clear if the statement was in response to solely McCarthy’s on-air remarks or if it addressed the off-air comment as well.

Cheney’s public criticisms of the GOP and Trump comes in stark contrast to the silent response from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to answer questions from reporters about the former president.

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GOP Sen. Roger Marshall, who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election, says he’s ‘so ready to move on’

Roger Marshall
Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas.

  • GOP Sen. Roger Marshall said that he wanted to “move on” from discussing his challenge of the election results.
  • “I made a decision based upon the facts that I knew at that point in time,” he said.
  • Former President Trump and his campaign spent months trying to overturn President Biden’s victory.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas on Saturday said that he was “ready to move on” when asked about his support of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

During an interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown, Marshall was questioned about whether his actions played a role in continued Republican distrust of the 2020 election.

Brown referred to a recent CNN poll conducted in late April which showed that 70 percent of Republicans believe that President Joe Biden didn’t legitimately win last year’s presidential race. The same poll revealed that only 23 percent of Republicans think Biden won the election fairly.

“Republicans continue to believe in the lie that this election, the last election was stolen,” Brown said. “You voted to toss out millions of votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. You also joined the Texas lawsuit attempting to throw out votes cast in four states.”

She added: “I’m curious. Looking back, do you have any regrets about your actions and any concern that they contributed to misinformation about the election?”

“We’re just so ready to move on,” Marshall replied. “I made a decision based upon the facts that I knew at that point in time. I was concerned then, and I still am today that six states broke their own laws or their own constitution. But it’s time to move on. It’s time for this country to heal. It’s time for a spirit of forgiveness to be happening.”

Read more: Meet Merrick Garland’s inner circle of 18 officials. They’ve got a packed plate investigating major police departments and even Rudy Giuliani.

Days before the January 6 certification of Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory, Marshall joined a group of GOP senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas who sought to challenge the results.

“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said at the time.

The repeated maligning of the vote count by Trump and his campaign fueled the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, which disrupted lawmakers as they sought to certify the results.

Later in the interview, Brown continued to press Marshall about how his challenge of the election results adhered to his ideological support of states’ rights.

“We want voting to easier, cheating to be harder,” he said. “By us standing up to our concerns about those elections, about the election integrity … it has forced those states with their problems to come to back to the table and have those legislatures work together to make sure we have safer elections with higher integrity.”

He added: “In my heart, I did what I thought was the right thing. I think the country is moving in a better direction.”

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Biden said US adversaries see the images from the Capitol riot ‘as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy’

biden
President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., look on.

  • President Joe Biden gave his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
  • Biden called the Capitol riot an “existential crisis” for America that “desecrated our Democracy.”
  • He also called for ambitious economic recovery plans on jobs, infrastructure, and childcare.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden called the attack at the US Capitol on January 6 an “existential crisis” for America.

Biden was speaking Wednesday evening from the Capitol, where a few months ago, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building, forcing lawmakers to evacuate and disrupting the certification of a free and fair democratic election.

“As we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol – desecrating our democracy – remain vivid in our minds,” Biden said. “Lives were put at risk. Lives were lost. Extraordinary courage was summoned.”

Read more: Congressional staffers are burned out and heading for the exits after a hellish year

Multiple people died during and after the Capitol riot, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick and Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter and QAnon believer, who was shot and killed by police while participating in the riot.

“The insurrection was an existential crisis-a test of whether our democracy could survive. It did,” Biden said.

The Capitol was secured hours after being breached, allowing Congress to reconvene and certify Biden’s win.

“But the struggle is far from over. The question of whether our democracy will long endure is both ancient and urgent. As old as our Republic. Still vital today,” he said, asking whether our democracy can deliver on its original promises. “Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate, and fears that have pulled us apart?”

He continued: “America’s adversaries – the autocrats of the world – are betting it can’t. They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy.”

“They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong,” he said. “We have to prove democracy still works.”

In his address, Biden called for ambitious plans related to economic recovery, including jobs, infrastructure, and childcare. He also called for civil rights legislation, gun control policy, and immigration reform.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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House GOP leader says Trump ‘goes up and down with his anger’ as justification for defending the former president post-Capitol riot

McCarthy/Trump
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a signing ceremony for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is still painting a rosy picture of the Capitol insurrection.
  • McCarthy made a number of excuses for former President Donald Trump in a New York Times interview.
  • “He goes up and down with his anger,” he said of Trump. “He’s mad at everybody one day. He’s mad at me one day.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy attempted to justify former President Donald Trump’s behavior around the January 6 Capitol siege in a recent interview with The New York Times.

McCarthy also tried to rationalize Trump’s ire toward him for not doing more to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“He goes up and down with his anger,” McCarthy told The Times. “He’s mad at everybody one day. He’s mad at me one day.”

McCarthy, who initially criticized Trump’s provocation of the riot, has more recently walked back his condemnation and defended the former president. He reportedly got in a shouting match with Trump over the phone during the storming of the Capitol, pleading with the then-president to call off the rioters.

“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump reportedly said on the call.

“Who the f— do you think you are talking to?” McCarthy reportedly told Trump as insurrectionists were ransacking the Capitol.

McCarthy told The Times that he feared Trump would abandon the GOP after his election loss if party leaders didn’t appease him. He suggested that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who ended his relationship with Trump post-riot, wasn’t fulfilling his duty as a GOP leader.

“Look, I didn’t want him to leave the party,” McCarthy said. “Mitch had stopped talking to him a number of months before. People criticize me for having a relationship with the president. That’s my job.”

In a recent interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, McCarthy struck a different tone, saying Trump “put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did, he put a video out later.” In that video, Trump called the rioters “very special” and drew widespread condemnation for being too sympathetic in his statement.

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A Texas couple who deleted Facebook posts bragging about being at the Capitol riot was arrested for assaulting police officers, FBI says

mark and jalise middleton
Facebook records in the criminal complaint show Mark and Jalise Middleton, FBI said.

  • A Texas couple has been charged with assaulting police officers during the Capitol siege.
  • A criminal complaint says the two were captured on police body cameras striking officers.
  • In since-deleted posts, the Middletons bragged about their participation on Facebook.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A couple from North Texas was arrested Wednesday on charges related to the siege at the US Capitol on January 6, when a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building to disrupt the certification of the election.

In a criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigations said Mark and Jalise Middleton of Forestburg were captured on footage from body cameras worn by police that showed them assaulting two Metropolitan Police Department officers who were guarding the Capitol.

They are facing charges that include assaulting police officers and remaining on restricted grounds, though they did not appear to have entered the building.

The footage shows the police officers struggling against rioters who are pushing against a barricade and trying to break the police line, ignoring commands from officers to step back, the complaint said.

Read more: Trump and his advisors are shrugging off DOJ’s Capitol riot probe. But they see danger in the Georgia and New York investigations.

One man wearing a Trump beanie, later identified as Mark Middleton, 51, pushes against the officers and the barricade with his body. When officers repeatedly instructed Middleton to get back, he yelled “f— you!” and continued to push. At one point, he grabs one of the officers and attempts to pull him forward.

Beside Mark, a woman wearing a Trump 2020 beanie, later identified as Jalise Middleton, 50, also grabbed at the officer with her hands, the complaint said. When another officer stepped in, Jalise Middleton struck him too.

The Middletons continued to strike the officers and jab flagpoles at their faces until one officer deployed a chemical spray, forcing them to retreat.

mark and jalise middleton
The criminal complaint included still images of officers’ body camera that purportedly showed the Middletons assaulting officers.

After receiving a tip, the FBI examined photos and videos the Middletons had shared on Facebook.

“We are on the front lines. We helped push down the barriers. Jalise and I got pepper sprayed, clubbed, and tear gassed. We had to retreat, but more patriots pushed forward, and they’re taking back our house,” Mark Middleton said in a video shared to his personal account, the complaint said.

“Do not believe the news media, we’re not rioters or mobs,” he said in a separate comment. “We’ve been the ones supporting the police, backing the police, but this is how we’re being treated?”

Jalise Middleton made incriminating posts on her Facebook page too.

“We fought the cops to get in the Capital and got pepper sprayed and beat but by gosh the patriots got in!” she said. When someone asked why they fought the cops, she replied: “To get in the Capital to send them bastards a clear message that this won’t be tolerated.”

The complaint said Jalise Middleton deleted the above post days after making them.

Facebook has said it was preserving data related to the Capitol siege in order to aid law enforcement.

To date, at least 439 people have been arrested in the Capitol insurrection.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Insurrectionists who posted social media footage of the Capitol riots are claiming to be journalists in their legal defenses, report says

journalists capitol riots cameras
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol in Washington. Some people charged with storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are claiming they were only there to record history as journalists, not join a deadly insurrection.

  • At least eight defendants charged in the Capitol riots have identified themselves as journalists, AP said.
  • These self-proclaimed job titles are being used to mount a First Amendment free speech defense.
  • The legal defenses are unlikely to stand up in court, a dean at a top journalism school said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Several defendants charged in the Capitol riots have self-identified as journalists in a bid to justify their attendance at the deadly insurrection, according to the Associated Press.

Individuals who might have posted potentially self-incriminating photographs or videos of them storming the Capitol are claiming they were only there to “record history” and absolve themselves of criminal responsibility, AP reported.

At least eight of those charged with the Capitol siege have claimed to be journalists or documentary makers to mount a First Amendment free speech defense, experts told the news agency.

Read more: Trump and his advisors are shrugging off DOJ’s Capitol riot probe. But they see danger in the Georgia and New York investigations.

One defendant, Shawn Witzemann, claimed that he was only inside the Capitol to live stream the protests, according to court records.

“I seek truth. I speak to sources. I document. I provide commentary. It’s everything that a journalist is,” he said in an interview with a New Mexico television station.

His YouTube page – “the Armenian Council for Truth in Journalism” – has just over 300 subscribers, his attorney told AP. Witzemann is charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Another defendant, Andrew Morgan, cited a small YouTube channel as justification for his attendance.

In his legal defense, Morgan referred to himself as “an independent journalist and civil rights auditor.” His YouTube page – “Political Trance Tribune” – has around 3,600 subscribers.

Morgan shared a video of himself participating in the insurrection on the page. In the clip, court documents show, he can be heard yelling, “send helmets forward.”

Other fringe platforms, such as”Insurgence USA” and “Thunderdome TV,” have also been named by defendants, AP said.

Nicholas DeCarlo claimed that he and another alleged rioter, Nicholas Ochs, are journalists for an online forum called “Murder the Media News,” the Los Angeles Times said.

A self-employed “documentarian,” John Earle Sullivan, has also used the legal defense that he was at the riots for journalistic reasons, the news agency reported.

He is accused of saying, “Let’s burn this s–t down,” while breaching the Capitol’s security barrier, according to an affidavit submitted to the US District Court for DC.

Lucy Dalglish, the dean of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, told the Associated Press that these legal defenses are unlikely to stand in court. Journalists need to be credentialed and cannot claim to be reporting if there is evidence to suggest they were encouraging the violent mob, she told the news agency.

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Nancy Pelosi said she would have fought the Capitol rioters if they found her: ‘I’m a street fighter’

pelosi shutdown
Nancy Pelosi.

  • Nancy Pelosi told USA Today she would have fought the Capitol rioters if they found her on January 6.
  • Rioters stormed the building, forcing lawmakers to be evacuated. Some entered Pelosi’s office.
  • Pelosi said if they found her, “they would have had a battle on their hands.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would have fought the Capitol rioters if they found her as they stormed the building.

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, forcing lawmakers to evacuate while voting to confirm President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Prosecutors said that Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence were targets for the rioters, with some saying they wanted to kill the pair.

She told USA Today that her security agents had managed to evacuate her.

But, when asked what she would have done if that had not happened, she said: “Well, I’m pretty tough. I’m a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands.”

She also lifted her foot in a high-heeled shoe, joking that “I would have had these” to use as weapons, USA Today reported.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the riot.

One suspected rioter, Richard Barnett, was photographed in Pelosi’s office with his feet up on her desk during the insurrection. He was also later seen outside the building, appearing to hold a letter belonging to Pelosi.

Pelosi in January said that her staffers had to hide under desks, and she said that she had first wanted to stand her ground before she relented to being escorted to an undisclosed location.

She also said she will “never forgive” the rioters for the “trauma” they caused Congressional staff and members.

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Capitol police officers were ordered to not use most aggressive crowd-control tactics against January 6 mob, watchdog report reveals

capitol police
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.

  • Capitol police were told not to use powerful crowd-control tactics during the January 6 riots.
  • “Heavier, less-lethal weapons were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” a watchdog report revealed.
  • The order was given despite an intel report detailing potential violence at the Capitol.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Despite being tipped off of the January 6 riots, Capitol police officers were ordered not to use their most aggressive crowd-control tactics – like stun grenades – on the mob, a scathing new watchdog report revealed Tuesday.

“Heavier, less-lethal weapons were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” inspector general Michael Bolton wrote in a 104-page report reviewed by The New York Times. CNN first reported about the watchdog report on Thursday, revealing more failures on the part of law enforcement in the January 6 siege.

According to The Times report, Bolton found that the agency failed to properly prepare for and respond to the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, despite potential violence in which “Congress itself is the target.”

He wrote that leaders ordered officers in their Civil Disturbance Unit, which handles the policing of large gatherings of protestors, not to use powerful crowd-control equipment and tactics to disperse the rioters. On-duty officials from the day of the riots told Bolton that the tools could have helped “push back the rioters.”

An intelligence assessment by the Capitol police flagged potential violence from pro-Trump supporters three days before the insurrection.

“Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, citing the watchdog report.

“Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike,” the assessment continued.

But on January 5, the Capitol police wrote a threat assessment with regards to the planned protests the next day, noting that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress,” Bolton wrote in the report.

The watchdog report, titled “Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol,” will be reviewed during a congressional hearing on Thursday, The Times reported.

Five people died following the Capitol riots, including two Capitol police officers.

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Prosecutors say Oath Keepers likely stored January 6 weapons at suburban Virginia hotel

oath keepers jessica watkins january 6 capitol riot siege insurrection
Jessica Marie Watkins (2nd from L) and Donovan Ray Crowl (Center), both from Ohio, march down the east front steps of the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers militia group among supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. Both have since been indicted by federal authorities for their roles in the siege on the U.S. Capitol. Picture taken January 6, 2021.

  • Prosecutors say alleged Oath Keepers stored weapons in a “quick reaction force” outside of DC ahead of January 6.
  • In a new filing, they say members of the paramilitary group likely stashed weapons in a suburban hotel.
  • Twelve alleged Oath Keepers are defendants in a high-profile conspiracy case tied to the attack.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary group involved in the January 6 Capitol insurrection, likely stored a cache of weapons in a suburban hotel outside of Washington, DC, in the lead-up to the riot, federal prosecutors say.

In a late Monday filing, prosecutors provided details for the first time on the alleged “quick reaction force” or “QRF” of stored weaponry outside of DC that they have claimed members of the Oath Keepers compiled ahead of the attack as part of their preparations for the possibility of even more violence.

Until the most recent filing, prosecutors had provided little evidence of the QRF’s existence, according to Politico. Despite Oath Keeper messages indicating the existence of a cache of weapons, Judge Amit Mehta, who is presiding over the group’s conspiracy case, has repeatedly pressed prosecutors for proof that the QRF actually existed.

Now, prosecutors say they have evidence that members of the Oath Keepers – 12 of whom are defendants in a high-profile conspiracy case tied to the insurrection – used a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Virginia, to store weapons ahead of January 6.

Monday’s filing is in part, an effort to deny pretrial release to alleged Oath Keeper Kenneth Harrelson, who prosecutors say can be seen in a photograph from the Comfort Inn on January 7, carrying what looks to be a weapon inside the hotel.

According to court documents, Harrelson texted a group chat on January 5 asking for the “QRF hotel address.” Another alleged Oath Keeper and defendant, Kelly Meggs, reportedly responded and told Harrelson to direct message him.

Prosecutors say about three hours after sending the text inquiring about the QRF location, Harrelson arrived at the Comfort Inn, where he stayed for about an hour, before driving to Washington, DC.

Cell phone data shows that Harrelson spent the rest of January 5, all of January 6, and the morning of January 7, in downtown DC. Meggs and other known Oath Keepers rented multiple rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington, DC, where prosecutors say Harrelson spent the nights of January 5 and 6.

Prosecutors say it is “reasonable to believe” that Harrelson dropped his weapons off at the QRF at the Arlington Comfort Inn on January 5, then picked them up again on January 7, after asking in a group chat about the location of his “s—” the day after the siege. Another member responded by asking Harrelson if he had left it in the “Comfort Inn in that room.”

“Indeed, surveillance video from the Comfort Inn shows what appears to be Defendant Harrelson rolling what appears to be at least one rifle case down a hallway and towards the elevator,” on the morning of January 7, prosecutors wrote in Monday’s filing.

Screen Shot 2021 04 13 at 3.07.56 PM
Surveillance video from the Comfort Inn shows what appears to be Defendant Harrelson rolling what appears to be at least one rifle case down a hallway and towards the elevator.

Harrelson and other alleged Oath Keeper members who have appeared in court have pleaded not guilty, according to CNN.

Judge Mehta has kept some of the members in jail awaiting their trials, while releasing others because he said they didn’t pose an ongoing danger to the community, CNN reported.

Prosecutors have been fixated on proving the existence of the QRF, in part, to convince the judge that the defendants pose a more significant threat than the majority of their fellow Capitol rioters. Prosecutors have also been eager to disprove claims by the Oath Keeper’s defense attorneys that the group’s planning was actually about guarding against violence by antifa, and not storming the capitol, Politico reported.

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