What Politico calls the first evidence indicating there was coordination among far-right groups in the runup to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack emerged via a Tuesday night Justice Department filing that contained Facebook messages written by the Florida head of the Oath Keepers. A sampling of what Kelly Meggs allegedly wrote to a contact of his in late December, per the filing:
- "This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this s--- [any clashes with antifa] down."
- Meggs wrote of there likely being up to 100 Oath Keepers members in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, "plus we have made contact with PB and they always have a big group. Force multiplier."
- "DC is no guns. So mace and gas masks, some batons. If you have armor that's good. During the day it's kind of boring but when it starts getting dark game on."
- "You can hang with us we will probably be guarding [redacted] or someone during the day but then at night we have orchestrated a plan with the proud boys."
- "We are gonna march with them [antifa] for awhile then fall back to the back of the crowd and turn off. Then we will have the proud boys get in front of them the cops will get between antifa and proud boys. We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them."
Meggs is among 10 Oath Keepers charged with conspiring to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's presidential win; four Proud Boys members face the same charges, reports Axios. Defense attorneys claim the Oath Keepers' plans were limited to dealing with any clashes with antifa and didn't involve breaching the Capitol. Prosecutors are making the case that there was indeed a coordinated plan to enter the building. As CNN puts it, "criminal conspiracy cases against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are among the most aggressive actions from the Justice Department following the violent pro-Trump riot." CNN reports the filing was related to Meggs' request that he be released on bail pending trial. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)