Oath Keepers crash and burn as judge smacks down their ploy to dismiss MAGA riot charges
Oath-Keepers via Facebook

In a lengthy ruling on Monday, District Judge Amit Mehta of the District of Columbia rejected a push by seven members of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers to dismiss criminal charges against them relating to their participation in the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and with an individual violation of the same statute.

"Defendants move to dismiss Counts One and Two, raising a host of arguments why those counts are fatally deficient. The court is persuaded by none of their contentions," wrote Mehta. "In short, the court concludes that Counts One and Two state offenses that are encompassed by the plain text of section 1512(c)(2), and that section 1512(c)(2) is neither void for vagueness nor vague as applied to these Defendants. The charged offenses also do not run afoul of the First Amendment."

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The Oath Keepers are a group consisting mainly of current or retired military or law enforcement, and swear an "oath" to uphold an extreme far-right interpretation of the Constitution, as well as refusing to follow orders or laws that conflict with this interpretation. They have been involved in a number of high-profile standoffs with the government, including the 2014 Bundy Ranch incident, and their members helped carry out the January 6 attack on the Capitol, with one member talking of "blood in the streets."

Reports indicate that some members have since turned on each other in the effort to secure plea deals with federal prosecutors.