In Jan. 6 Texts, Militia Members Said Trump Doctor 'Needs Protection'

Oath Keepers discussed protecting several Trump allies during riot
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2022 3:23 PM CDT
Trump Allies Asked Far-Right Group for Jan. 6 Security: Texts
Stewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers, center, speaks during a rally outside the White House in Washington, on June 25, 2017.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers discussed providing protection to some of then-President Trump's top allies surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, including Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn, newly-released text messages show. Several group members—including Joshua James, who has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy—were seen alongside Stone, a longtime Trump ally, on Jan. 5, per Politico. Days earlier, Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins wrote that "Stone just asked for security," according to the texts, released Monday as part of Ed Vallejo's motion for release from pretrial detention, per the Guardian.

Vallejo—charged with overseeing the group's cache of weapons at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Va.—is one of 11 Oath Keepers facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the attack on the Capitol, along with founder Stewart Rhodes and member Kelly Meggs of Florida. Meggs—who led Stone's security detail, per the Guardian—described a text message exchange with Stone, adding he had been to Stone's house "a few times," per Politico. Rhodes said he'd previously worked with a group called First Amendment Praetorian to protect Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, as well as with broadcaster Alex Jones' security team. "We may also end up assisting the [personal security detail] for Alex Jones again," he wrote.

Members also described a connection to Jackson, the former White House physician. "Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect," wrote an unidentified member, per the Guardian. A rep for Jackson says "he does not know nor has he ever spoken to the people in question." The text messages also appear to back up the prosecution's argument of a link between the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, per Politico. In one exchange, Meggs describes attempts to reach Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who prosecutors say met up with Rhodes on Jan. 4. A leader of the Stop the Steal movement, Ali Alexander, has claimed he also accepted an offer of protection from the Oath Keepers, per Politico. (More Oath Keepers stories.)

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