Oath Keeper needed U.S. Congress to ‘be afraid’ of certifying Biden win By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Police clear the U.S. Capitol Constructing with tear gasoline as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump collect outdoors, in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Picture

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Florida member of the far-right Oath Keepers testified on Tuesday that he had been prepared to make use of violence to cease the U.S. Congress from certifying Republican Donald Trump’s election defeat, saying he needed lawmakers to “be afraid.”

Jason Dolan, a 46-year-old retired Marine, who final 12 months pleaded responsible to collaborating within the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, testified on the prison trial of the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, and 4 associates, who face prices of seditious conspiracy for his or her function within the violence.

Dolan advised the jury he joined the Oath Keepers out of frustration over Trump’s 2020 loss and that he grew keen to “battle” towards what he noticed was an “illegitimate” authorities as he drank alcohol and texted with group members for hours every evening inside his Wellington, Florida storage.

“Quite a lot of us had been ready, I used to be ready to cease the certification course of by some means,” mentioned Dolan, who stormed the Capitol with a number of different Oath Keepers and loudly chanted “treason” within the hopes that Congress would “be afraid of me” and never certify Democratic President Joe Biden’s election.

Trump continues to falsely declare that his defeat was the results of fraud.

“Individuals will act out of kindness. They may act out of charity, and they’ll act out of concern, too … perhaps they might be scared into doing the precise factor,” Dolan mentioned.

Rhodes and his 4 co-defendants – Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell, Kenneth Harrelson and Kelly Meggs – are charged with seditious conspiracy, a not often prosecuted crime beneath a statute courting to the Civil Battle period outlined as making an attempt “to overthrow, put down or to destroy by pressure the federal government of america.”

On Jan. 6, a number of the group’s members, together with Dolan, had been among the many 1000’s of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, battling police and sending members of Congress scrambling for canopy.

Prosecutors say the group deliberate a “fast response pressure” of armed members who waited at a resort in northern Virginia with a stash of firearms they may ferry throughout the Potomac River into the capital if referred to as upon.

Dolan testified that he introduced his assault-style rifle and a pistol with him from Florida, and stashed them in a Virginia resort.

He pleaded responsible in September 2021 to conspiracy and obstructing an official continuing and agreed to cooperate with the federal government within the hope of getting a diminished sentence.

Dolan additionally mentioned he had believed Trump might invoke the Riot Act, an 1800s legislation that lets the president name on troops to quell dysfunction. In that occasion, he mentioned, he believed Oath Keepers “can be preventing with pro-Trump forces towards principally pro-Biden forces.”

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