Indictments against Oath Keepers co-founder Stewart Rhodes and 10 others serve as a reminder that the Jan. 6 insurrection could have been much worse.
The right-wing paramilitary group attempted to make a coordinated move on the Senate chamber, according to the seditious conspiracy indictment, and "tried to push their way through" a line of police officers who "forcibly repelled their advance" -- and seemingly stopped them from executing their mission, reported CNN.
Other rioters managed to get inside the Senate floor and gallery, but the Oath Keepers -- who prosecutors say had stockpiled firearms at a nearby hotel in Virginia for a "quick reaction force" -- were prevented by police from breaking through, and the new indictments dramatically raises the stakes of the plot to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president.
Rhodes allegedly purchased a rifle, a magazine and other firearms equipment, including sights, mounts, triggers, slings and an optic plate, on his way to Washington, D.C., before Jan. 6, and prosecutors say he "directed" his supporters to go into the Capitol, where he was present on the grounds but did not go inside himself.
The indictment alleges the Oath Keepers intended to stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Biden, and one defendant boasted the group was "reloading" after the insurrection failed, and Rhodes allegedly told associates to organize local militias to stop Biden from being inaugurated.
The militia co-founder allegedly spent more than $17,500 on weapons, equipment and ammunition in the week after the riot, and one group member urged him to stay "below the radar" while another Oath Keeper brought what he called "all available weapons" to Rhodes' home in Texas."Rhodes and certain co-conspirators ... planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force," reads the indictment.