DOJ details evidence that Oath Keeper brought explosives to D.C. area
Federal prosecutors indicated Friday they intend to present evidence that a member of the Oath Keepers likely carried grenades in an RV that he drove to the Washington, D.C., area ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In court papers previewing evidence to be presented in the upcoming seditious conspiracy trial of Oath Keepers leaders, the Justice Department said it believes Jeremy Brown, a group member from Florida, likely traveled to Northern Virginia with grenades that were found by investigators in a subsequent search of his vehicle.
The basis for that evidence, prosecutors said, is a statement from fellow Florida member Kelly Meggs to Caleb Berry — an Oath Keeper who pleaded guilty to his involvement in the alleged conspiracy — that Brown had brought explosives with him in his RV.
“On September 30, 2021, pursuant to an authorized search warrant, the government seized two illegal short barrel firearms from Brown’s residence and military ordinance grenades from Brown’s RV—the same RV that Brown used to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 6,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Edwards said in the filing.
Edwards indicated that investigators are unsure whether Brown stashed these explosives at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Va., where other members of the group stockpiled firearms and other weapons, or kept them in his vehicle.
The evidence, however, underscores the threat prosecutors say the Oath Keepers posed to the transfer of power. Founder Stewart Rhodes and several other members of the Oath Keepers are facing seditious conspiracy charges. Two members of the group have already pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. More than a dozen other members are facing felony obstruction charges, and several have pleaded guilty for their involvement and are cooperating with the government.
Prosecutors say they also intend to introduce several other pieces of evidence in the case that they consider relevant to show jurors, even if they’re not part of the underlying charges facing the defendants. That evidence includes details of a trip several of the alleged co-conspirators took to Washington, D.C., in November 2020 to protest the election results. Just as before Jan. 6, the participants in the November trip stashed firearms and other weapons in a vehicle in Arlington, Va., prosecutors say.
Prosecutors also want to introduce evidence at trial that one of the alleged co-conspirators, Thomas Caldwell, kept a “death list” that included the name of a Georgia election official. That list, which the government has previously cited in other court filings, is evidence of Caldwell’s intent to thwart the peaceful transfer of power, prosecutors say. Prosecutors also want to introduce evidence that alleged co-conspirator Jessica Watkins kept bomb-making instructions at her home.