First, they helped to plan and carry out the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Now, members of the extremist, right-wing Oath Keepers militia group are running for elected office across the country and — in some cases — winning, according to a new report from BuzzFeed News.
The report, based on BuzzFeed's review of internal Oath Keepers data and communications that were hacked and leaked last week, notes that the group "does not publish its membership rolls or reveal which of its members have run for or won elected office."
"Although some members proudly wear Oath Keepers insignia in public, others keep their affiliation a secret and refrain from using their full names even within the organization," according to BuzzFeed. "By comparing the leaked Oath Keepers data — which includes lists of members, chat logs, and tens of thousands of emails — to public records, news reports, and internet registry information, BuzzFeed News was able to verify the identity of a number of political candidates."
Those candidates include Brett Wynkoop, who is seeking a seat on the New York City Council representing the ultra-liberal Brooklyn enclave of Park Slope.
"You have not seen isolated until you have been an Oath Keeper in NYC!" Wynkoop wrote in a message to another Oath Keepers member in March. "Feel like a one man French Underground!"
Wynkoop reportedly hung up on a BuzzFeed News reporter who called to ask about his Oath Keepers membership. But Edward Durfee Jr., who's running for New Jersey's general assembly, told the site: "I am an Oath Keeper, absolutely," adding that his campaign "has nothing to do with being an Oath Keeper."
Oath Keepers member Michael Ray Williams, who running for Wyoming state Senate, told BuzzFeed that the group "had nothing to do with" the Capitol insurrection, which he called a "false flag operation" perpetrated by Black Lives Matter an antifa.
"All three (candidates) seek to duplicate the electoral success of current or former Oath Keepers including Chad Bianco, the sheriff of Riverside County in California, the nation's 10th most populous county, and Wendy Rogers, who was elected to Arizona's state Senate last year," BuzzFeed reports.