'By any means necessary': Testimony about the Oath Keepers' 'predetermined plan to stop the election certification' of Joe Biden

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that a former member of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers testified that the group was prepared for extreme measures to stop President Joe Biden from being certified.

"A former member of the Oath Keepers militia testified on Tuesday that the far-right group intended to block the certification of the 2020 election 'by any means necessary,' stashing weapons in a hotel in Virginia on Jan. 6, 2021, in anticipation of supporting President Donald J. Trump in his bid to keep Joseph R. Biden Jr. out of the White House," reported Alan Feuer and Zach Montague.

"The former Oath Keeper, Jason Dolan, gave his account at the seditious conspiracy trial of the organization’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, telling the jury that the group envisioned a battle breaking out in Washington that day between factions loyal to Mr. Trump and others loyal to Mr. Biden."

"'My thinking was you would have portions of federal government that would side with President Trump and parts that would side with President Biden,' Mr. Dolan said," continued the report. "The Oath Keepers, Mr. Dolan added, were firmly committed to Mr. Trump and wanted to stop the certification of Mr. Biden’s victory in any way they could."

The Oath Keepers are a force consisting of mainly current and retired military and law enforcement, sworn to uphold an extreme right-wing view of the Constitution. They were involved in the armed standoff with federal agents at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada in 2014, and executed a plan to charge into the Capitol on January 6 in a military "stack" formation.

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the group, and many of his allies have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their role in the attack.

"Mr. Dolan’s turn on the stand came after other government witnesses had denied under questions from the defense that the Oath Keepers had a predetermined plan to stop the election certification," said the report. "It provided the prosecution with its strongest evidence to date that Mr. Rhodes and the others — Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell — had committed seditious conspiracy by plotting to use force to stop the transfer of power from Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden. The five defendants are facing two other conspiracy counts at the trial. One accuses them of plotting to disrupt the election certification process; the other charges them with working together to interfere with federal officers discharging their duties."

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