The Justice Department charged six more people Friday it says are members of a right-wing militia group that plotted in advance of Jan. 6 to attack the U.S. Capitol.
The indictment offers the most sweeping evidence so far that members of the far-right extremist group known as the Oath Keepers had spent months allegedly planning to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory in a bid to keep former President Donald Trump in power.
The federal charges say 52-year-old Kelly Meggs, the self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, and his wife Connie, joined four other alleged militia members to breach the Capitol.
According to the indictment, the group ascended a flight of stairs outside the Capitol in military-style formation and then went on to breach the building. Federal prosecutors say Meggs parroted language from a tweet from Trump weeks before the siege. Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6, saying it would be “wild.”
“He wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying,” Meggs allegedly wrote in a Facebook post. “He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentleman we are heading to DC.”
Last month, the Justice Department charged three members of the Oath Keepers with conspiring to undermine President Biden’s win. Officials said that Thomas Edward Caldwell, Jessica Marie Watkins, and Donovan Ray Crowl had allegedly set up training for urban warfare and riot control in preparation for the Jan. 6 siege shortly after then-President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory and had allegedly briefly discussed bringing weapons into Washington, D.C., by boat.
The latest indictment adds six more people to the alleged conspiracy, including a retired Ohio couple, Sandra and Bennie Parker, and another suspected Florida Oath Keeper, Graydon Young, who allegedly arranged to get members of the group trained in firearms and combat.