© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Oath Keepers militia founder Stewart Rhodes makes use of a radio as he departs with volunteers from a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photograph
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A recruit of the far-right Oath Keepers group displayed for a jury on Wednesday the AR-15 assault-style rifle he mentioned was amongst a big stash of firearms instances he noticed in a lodge room the day earlier than the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Terry Cummings, a Florida resident and former member of the U.S. navy, was testifying within the trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and 4 others. The defendants are accused of plotting to make use of drive to cease Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory in a failed bid to maintain then-President Donald Trump in energy.
Rhodes and his 4 co-defendants – Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson and Kelly Meggs – are charged with seditious conspiracy, a hardly ever prosecuted crime below a statute courting to the Civil Struggle period that’s outlined as making an attempt “to overthrow, put down or to destroy by drive the federal government of the US.”
On Jan. 6, a few of the group’s members have been among the many 1000’s of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, interrupting the electoral vote depend and sending members of Congress scrambling for canopy. A number of of the defendants have been amongst them.
Prosecutors known as Cummings to the stand to indicate proof that the Oath Keepers had organized a so-called fast response drive of armed members who have been ready throughout the Potomac River at a lodge in northern Virginia to ferry arms into the capital if known as upon.
Cummings acknowledged leaving his assault-style rifle and field of ammunition in a room in a Virginia lodge crammed with many instances used to move firearms. He mentioned he had not seen so many in a single place since his days within the navy.
He mentioned he had introduced his gun solely as a “present of drive,” and that not one of the Oath Keepers truly used or tried to make use of the weapons left on the lodge on Jan. 6.
“Are you conscious of anybody that day had tried to entry the [quick reaction force] within the district?” requested Stanley Woodward (NASDAQ:), an legal professional for Meggs.
“Not that I am conscious of,” Cummings replied.
Cummings traveled to Washington with Harrelson, and Jason Dolan, one other Florida Oath Keeper who pleaded responsible to his position within the assault in September 2021.
He mentioned they traveled there out of frustration over the result of the 2020 election, and their plan had been to offer safety to sure “VIPs” who have been talking at political rallies.
Cummings, a authorities witness who appeared below subpoena, mentioned he had donated to the authorized protection funds for a few of the defendants within the case. He testified that he had not heard about any plans to assault the Capitol.
He has not been criminally charged within the case.
Cummings mentioned he joined the Oath Keepers in 2020 as a result of he was annoyed with violence and protests that broke out within the streets of cities across the nation following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer.