- A government witness recorded a meeting with Oathkeepers founder Stewart Rhodes after Jan. 6.
- Jason Alpers Rhodes says he typed a message to Trump warning his children they would “die in prison.”
- Alpers denied acting on behalf of law enforcement at the Jan. 10 meeting.
In the year A few days after the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes issued a message warning of dire consequences for President Donald Trump if he were to overturn the 2020 election and stay in office. .
“If you don’t do this, Biden/Kemala will turn all that power against you, your family and all of us. You and your family will be arrested and killed,” Rhodes wrote. You and your children will die in prison.
A message from Rhodes pleading with Trump to recall the Sedition Act was ultimately not received. But he appeared in evidence Wednesday against Rhodes and four other members of the far-right Oath Guard, who were charged with conspiracy to commit violence in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.
On Jan. 10, 2021, prosecutors introduced the message when they questioned Jason Alpers, the owner of a software development firm linked to Rhodes in Texas. Alpers testified that he recorded the meeting with a “thumb-type recorder” he bought himself at a computer store.
In cross-examination, Alpers said he was not acting on behalf of a law enforcement agency when he made the recording. Alpers, an Army veteran who said he once worked in “special operations and psychological operations,” said he contacted the FBI after the Jan. 6 attacks and after meeting with Rhodes.
In court, prosecutors played a recording of Alpers calling for civil war immediately after the Capitol attack.
“The fight is coming. I’m not living off my knees, no joke. … We’re just the tip of the iceberg. There are millions of others who feel bad about what we do,” Rhodes said. recording.
Rhodes added that the “regret” around Jan. 6 was not having a more lethal weapon.
“We could have fixed it right there and then,” Rhodes said on the recording.
Rhodes and four other members of the jury – Kelly Meigs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell – watched their testimony in the courtroom where they were hearing charges against a grand jury who accused them of conspiring to oppose the peaceful transfer of power. During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the sworn guards had stored weapons in a hotel outside Washington, D.C., so that “quick response forces” could be called to the nation’s capital.
Alpers testified that he has ties to Trump’s inner circle and may be sending messages “indirectly” to the then-president as early as 2021. During his meeting with Rhodes, Alpers said the Oath Guard founder had him type a message intended for Trump on his phone to “clearly put his thoughts on paper.”
“It was clearly his intention,” Alpers testified Wednesday.
In that draft message, Rhodes wanted to tell Trump to “do as Lincoln did.”
“He has arrested members of Congress, state legislators, and issued warrants to SCOTUS Chief Justice Taney. Accept orders like Washington … in history as the savior of the Republic, not the betrayer,” Rhodes wrote. to the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Rhodes added: “I’m here for you and so are all my brothers. We’re here to help you if you want. The military and the police. And so are your millions of supporters.
Alpers said he didn’t forward Rhodes’ advice to Trump “because I didn’t agree with the message.”
Federal prosecutors are expected to file charges against Rhodes and the other four members of the jury on Wednesday. At the start of the trial, Rhodes’ attorney told jurors that the Oath Guard founder planned to testify in his own defense.