Trump Associates Relationship with Extremists Investigated by Panel on January 6


After members of the far-right Oath Keepers militant group attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, their leaders called someone over the phone with an urgent message to then-President Donald Trump. Another militant told the investigator.

Members of the Orskipers say he heard their leader while gathering in a private suite at the Phoenix Park Hotel, Stewart RoseRepeatedly call the person to urge Trump to call on the militia group to fight to maintain the president’s power.

“I just want to fight,” Rhodes said after hanging up with a person who denied Rhodes’s proceeding to speak directly to the president, court records said.

Federal prosecutors do not say who they believe Rhodes is talking to in the call. This is detailed in court documents in the case of members of the Aus Keepers who have been found guilty of riots. Rhodes lawyers say the call never happened.

However, this story raised the question that the boss of the militant group might have had someone’s ear near Trump on January 6th. Tuesday.

The January 6 committee said it was scrutinizing the relationship between Trump’s orbital people and militant groups accused of supporting the invocation of violence in the Capitol.

Top leaders and members of Oath Keepers, and another far-right group, Proud Boys Indicted for incendiary conspiracy In the most serious case, the Justice Department has brought so far in the January 6 attack.

Neither federal prosecutors nor House investigators claim that anyone at the Trump White House was in contact with the militant group by January 6.

However, at least two men near Trump (long-time friend Roger Stone and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn) were with the far-right group and militants allegedly involved on January 6. I know the contact.

Cassidy HutchinsonFormer White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also heard that Proud Boys and Oath Keepers had mentioned for the “Stop Steel” rally in Washington on January 6th. Told to. It has been clarified about it.

Cathy Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center who provided information on the militants to the Commission, said lawmakers based on their testimony revealed more information about the relationship between people close to Trump and the group. Said that he was expecting to Like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

“Currently things are very blurry,” Miller said.

At the committee’s final television hearing, Hutchinson told lawmakers that Trump had instructed Meadows to speak with Stone and Flynn the day before the riots. According to Hutchinson, Meadows called both Flynn and Stone on the night of January 5, but she said she didn’t know what they were talking about.

In a post-hearing post on the social media platform Telegram, Stone denied talking to Meadows on the phone. When asked to comment on the phone by the Associated Press, Flynn’s brothers emailed the January 6 hearing that it was a “clown show.”

Neither Stone nor Flynn have been charged in connection with the Capitol riots, and neither has invoked the Fifth Amendment for self-incrimination in front of the House Committee. Trump pardoned each after being convicted by a jury trial or after pleading guilty to a case unrelated to January 6.

During the pre-riot event in Washington, Stone used members of the Aus Keepers. This is a far-right militia group that employs current and former military, first responders, and law enforcement agencies as security guards.

Photos and videos on January 5th and 6th show stones lined with people wearing Orskipers gear. Among them was Joshua James, who was the leader of the group’s Alabama branch at the time. He has pleaded guilty to the sedition plot and is working with authorities investigating the riots.

Stone, an informal Trump adviser, denied any knowledge or involvement in the illegality on January 6th.

“The Orskipers voluntarily provided me with security on January 5th. There’s nothing more than that,” he recently wrote in Telegram.

On Friday, Rhodes lawyers told the Commission that their clients wanted to testify directly and publicly. A spokesperson for the Commission declined to comment, but it is unlikely that lawmakers would agree to Rhodes’ terms.

The committee has already interviewed Rhodes for hours in a closed room, but one of his lawyers, James Lee Bright, told AP. Bright said Rhodes now wants to “confront the story they’re telling,” but he believes it is “totally wrong.”

Former U.S. paratrooper Rhodes and four co-defendants will be tried in Washington in September. The Aus Keepers have mostly avoided public forums since January 6th. Oren Seagull, vice president of the Defamation League’s Radical Center, is uncertain who handles the “daily” activities of the group behind the bar.

The Orskipers denied plans to attack the Capitol. They said their communication and planning until January 6 was only to provide security to right-wing figures like Stone before the riots and to protect themselves from possible attacks from anti-fa activists. say.

Stone is also not shy about his close relationship with Enrique Tario, the former Proud Boys president who will be tried for sedition in December. Show Vinist. “

In February 2019, a month after being charged with tampering with witnesses and other crimes in a Russian investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, Stone was summoned to court and looks like a photograph of the judge. I responded to a post to the Instagram account that posted the thing. Gun crosshairs. As a witness, Stone publicly identified Tario as one of the five or six “volunteers” who provided him with images and content for posting on social media. Stone said his home served as the headquarters for his volunteers.

Playing cards In that case, 40 months’ imprisonment for the reduced Stone A few days before he was scheduled to report to jail Forgave him a few months later..

Proud Boys has been trying to connect with mainstream Republican figures since Vice Media co-founder Gavin McKinness started the group in 2016, Miller said.

Proud Boys members told the committee on January 6 that group membership surged after Trump refused to fully blame the group in its first discussion with Biden. Instead, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stop and wait.”

And militant groups tend to collapse after law enforcement officials imprison their top leaders, which doesn’t seem to happen to Proud Boys. According to Miller, 2021 has become one of the most active years for radical groups, despite a temporary decline in activity after the riots.

Flynn was also in contact with several far-right groups before January 6. In the weeks following the election, Flynn became the leader of a campaign that questioned the outcome and urged Trump to take special steps to maintain power.

Flynn called Trump’s defeat an “ongoing coup,” and Trump publicly suggested that he should seize voting machines and bring to light the idea of ​​martial law. He and some of his allies finally brought those ideas directly to Trump at the Oval Office meeting in December. Flynn was also a notable speaker at a large rally in Washington on December 12, 2020, supporting Trump’s desperate efforts to overturn the election defeat.

In a text message later submitted to court, the leader of the Orskipers, Rhodes, and other members, another far-right group, the first amendment, to allow members of the group to provide Flynn with personal security that day. Discussed how we worked with Praetorian Guard (1AP).Photo Taken by UPI Shows Flynn leaving the rally with Rhodes and at least one member of 1AP.

The House Committee summoned Robert Patrick Lewis, the founder of 1AP, and in a letter to Lewis alleged that he had regularly coordinated with Flynn and had contacted Rhodes before January 6. I pointed out that.

Lewis, who was not charged on January 6, states that the group was made up of military and law enforcement veterans and provided free security and intelligence in the months following the election. In a recent defamation proceeding, Lewis and another member of 1AP, Philip Luelsdorff, denied involvement in the planning or execution of the Capitol attack, stating that 1AP was not a militia or paramilitary organization.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during a previous Russian investigation Amnesty to Trump A little over a month before the riots in the Capitol.


Richer reported from Boston, Smith from Providence, Rhode Island, and Kunzelman from College Park, Maryland. Eric Tucker, an Associated Press writer in Washington, contributed to this report.