Move trial of oath keepers to military bases
One of the oath keepers was allegedly involved in an abandoned plan to transport weapons across the Potomac River to the former president that of Donald Trump The command asked a federal judge to consider moving his seditious conspiracy trial to military bases in Virginia.
“In the Eastern District of Virginia, the Alexandria Courthouse has a huge ceremonial courtroom that can accommodate large trials,” the attorneys for Thomas Calwell wrote in a 21-page motion to change venue. “Furthermore, the Eastern District of Virginia [sic] has several military bases that could be used for testing, including Ft. Belvoir (Fairfax, Va.), Fort. Myer (Arlington, Virginia) and Fort. AP Hill (Bowling Green, Va.), which have large buildings and are equipped with “bricks” that can accommodate detained defendants during trial breaks.
Founded by Stewart Rhodes, the name of the extremist group Oath Keepers derives from the vow of members of the military and law enforcement to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Its members – current and retired police officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen – follow their own view of what this oath means, even if it contradicts those of lawmakers, judges and the institutions they serve.
Caldwell, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, was quoted Jan. 6 as saying, ‘Every b**** in there is a traitor’, gesturing to Congress during the president’s certification that of Joe Biden Election victory 2020. Prosecutors say Caldwell helped plan a so-called “quick reaction force,” or QRF, originally intended to stand near a Virginia hotel with guns. In the “worst-case scenario,” the Oath Keepers believed Trump would call them as his private militia to help him in Washington, DC, prosecutors say.
Like many other Jan. 6 defendants, Caldwell wants to move his next trial outside of the DC District, a predominantly Blue jurisdiction that voted against Trump. Such efforts have failed in the past. Prosecutors cited Watergate for the proposition that the nation’s capital’s largely Democratic electorate is not a reason the Republican defendants cannot receive a fair trial.
Several Oath Keepers defendants are undeterred, saying Biden’s statements have tainted the jury panel.
“Just this week, President Biden accused the ‘MAGA mob’ of being ‘the most extreme political organization in existence,'” Caldwell’s lawyer said. David W.Fischer written in brief. ‘The president previously called J6′[t]he worst attack on our democracy since the civil war.
Prosecutors have charged Rhodes and 10 of his fellow Oath Keepers in the seditious conspiracy case, and several other members face lesser charges in a related case. Most want to avoid a DC jury, citing public polls as compelling evidence of their rise at trial.
“Even more compelling: 16 defendants joined the instant motion, and others who have now pleaded guilty had already joined a prior motion to transfer location,” the motion reads.
Several members of Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government as the trial looms. One of the cooperators, William Todd Wilsontold prosecutors that Rhodes assembled a group of oath keepers inside the Phoenix Hotel on January 6 and called an unidentified individual from inside the suite.
“Wilson heard Rhodes repeatedly implore the individual to tell President Trump to call on groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power,” Wilson’s minutes read. “This individual has denied Rhodes’ request to speak directly with President Trump. After the call ended, Rhodes told the group, “I just want to fight.”
Joshua James34, and Brian Ulrich44, had previously pleaded guilty.
Read the brief, below:
(Photo via MJ)
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