February 11, 2021
Oath Keepers Leader Allegedly Waited For Donald Trump To 'Activate' Them Before Capitol Attack

Jessica Watkins, a leader of the Oath Keepers who is being charged with conspiracy related to the Capitol riot on January 6, claimed that she waited for Donald Trump to "activate" her team before the storming of the building. As reported by CNN, the claim was included in a filing by prosecutors submitted Thursday morning.

"As the inauguration grew nearer, [Jessica] Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump," the document read.

"Her concern about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, 'I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it's not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can't trust it.' Watkins had perceived her desired signal by the end of December."
Prosecutors claimed that Watkins revealed on a radio app on January 6 that she had 30 to 40 people in her group, which was purportedly trying to obstruct the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Watkins allegedly wore combat gear — including boots, a tactical vest, and a helmet — and was dressed in camouflage fatigues. As The Inquisitr reported, she is accused of planning the attack as early as November.

The Thursday also filing asserted that Watkins was responsible for recruiting at least two people into the operation and allegedly training others to be in "fighting shape" for Biden's inauguration.

According to CNN, the filing marks a departure for the Justice Department, which it said has "somewhat held back" on tying Trump's words to the actions of extremist groups in the riot — despite multiple defendants arguing that they were following the former president's direction.

The revelation comes as the Senate oversees the trial on the article of impeachment against Trump that accused him of inciting insurrection.

Oath Keepers, carrying rifles, walk along West Florrisant Street as demonstrators, marking the first anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, protest on August 10, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri.
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Former FBI official Thomas Caldwell — who is also facing a conspiracy charge linked to the riot — purportedly worked with Watkins to drive the crowd outside the Capitol into the building. As The Inquisitr reported, an indictment of Caldwell released on Thursday claimed that law enforcement found a "death list" in his home, along with ammunition and what appeared to be a concealed firearm in the guise of a cellphone.

Caldwell has denied being a member of Oath Keepers or entering the Capitol on January 6, and his attorney said that he is a fully disabled veteran.