MAGA lawmakers likely ‘alarmed’ by Oath Keepers indictment as Jan. 6 probe ‘goes up the ladder’: MSNBC analyst

Some Republican members of Congress undoubtedly were alarmed by Thursday's indictment of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, because it signals that the Department of Justice's Jan. 6 probe won't end with the "schmoes" who stormed the Capitol, according to former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt.

Appearing on MSNBC on Friday, the Lincoln Project co-founder was asked by host Nicolle Wallace why he thinks Fox News "feels compelled to defend seditious insurrection."

"The reason they're doing it I think is the most obvious one — for money," Schmidt responded. "There is a billion-dollar audience that's out there that can now be more easily imprisoned intellectually, algorithmically, where they are consigned to these information silos, where a community forms."

READ MORE: 'Hanging his own clients': George Conway buries Oath Keepers' attorney over train wreck CNN interview

Schmidt added that, especially during the pandemic, many Americans became lonely and began searching for a sense of community.

"What spews forth from Fox New trickles down to the Facebook posts and the chat rooms, and to the level where this fills people's feeds within their groups, and they have a community who have opted out of reality," he said. "And the people who are responsible for it aren't the victims of misinformation. It's the people who are peddling the lies and the BS."

But that is precisely what's so significant about the Oath Keepers indictment and the ongoing investigations of the Capitol insurrection, according to Schmidt.

"In American society over the last 20 years, in a way that has destabilized American democracy, all of the accountability we have seen has been inflicted at the bottom rung of the ladder," he said. "A great example of this is the economic crisis in 2009. Tens of millions of families lost their homes, lost their mortgages. What Wall Street banker went to jail? The answer is none of them."

"So what we see in this prosecution is that no, it's not going to just be the schmo who invaded the Capitol and did whatever desecration," he added. "It's going to be the leaders of the paramilitary movement, it's going to be the leaders of the extremist movement, that this is going to go up the ladder, and that's a rare change in American society and culture over the last 20 years, and no doubt one that is alarming to a lot of members of Congress and other people who think their positions of power immunize them from accountability, even when it's the most grievous sins you can commit against the republic."

Watch below.

MSNBC 01 14 2022 16 34 44