Oath Keepers lawyer tells jury that group isn't bigoted because it has 'a transgender' as a key member
Stewart Rhodes (Photo by Nicholas Kamm for AFP)

A defense attorney representing Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes on Friday tried to soften the far-right militia's image for jurors by criticizing past media reports that depicted them as some kind of white nationalist organization.

As reported by Politico's Kyle Cheney, Rhodes attorney Lee Bright said that the Oath Keepers' reputation as a group of bigots was completely unwarranted, and he pointed to some of its own members as showing its tolerance of diversity.

Specifically, Bright pointed out that Oath Keeper Michael Greene is a Black man and that Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins, who along with Rhodes is on trial for seditious conspiracy, is transgender.

"We have a transgender [woman] here," he told jurors, according to Cheney.

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Bright also said that the Oath Keepers believed that they needed to act on January 6 after watching riots erupt in major cities across the United States in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

"Donald Trump had to be taken down to the bunker under the White House," Bright argued to jurors. "They saw their country burning."

The result of this, said Bright, was that the Oath Keepers engaged in "horribly heated rhetoric" about killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he said amounted to "bombast" more than a genuine threat.