'Quick reaction force' waited for orders within sight of the Capitol — but Oath Keepers say they’re from another group
Oath Keepers leader refuses to back down after members are arrested for involvement in Trump insurrection

An enduring mystery from the Jan. 6 insurrection remains unclear, and one photojournalist doesn't understand why the FBI isn't doing more to solve it.

The indictments of Oath Keepers co-founder Stewart Rhodes and others on seditious conspiracy charges show that militia members stashed firearms and ammunition at a Virginia hotel so "quick reaction forces" could quickly move the weapons to the U.S. Capitol, but there's no indication they ever left the Comfort Inn Ballston, reported HuffPost.

“We will have several well equipped QRFs outside DC,” Rhodes wrote on Jan. 6 before leaving. “And there are many, many others, from other groups, who will be watching and waiting on the outside in case of worst case scenarios.”

There's very little known about the specific actions those other groups took, or who they are, but photojournalist Jay Westcott believes he saw some of them at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial about an hour after a military "stack" of Oath Keepers breached the Capitol.

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“It is a straight line of sight three miles to the Capitol building,” Westcott said. “The radios that they had were very capable of getting there.”

He saw the suspicious-looking group at about 3:30 p.m. using radio equipment at the memorial, and he shot some photographs from a distance.

“The thing about that location is you have access to every major road into D.C. just from that one spot,” Westcott said. “A quick reaction force with a lead foot, they could’ve been in the Capitol building in less than 10 minutes.”

Westcott reached out to the FBI afterward to share the evidence he'd gathered, and his employer ARLNow published the photos in March with the men's faces blurred out, but he said no investigators have contacted him at any point.

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“I haven’t heard anything. I’ve heard zero,” he said. “It’s unbelievably frustrating to know that I have hard evidence, tangible physical evidence that shows details, that shows faces, and that the government and FBI have the technology to take advantage of that and haven’t.”

The FBI declined to comment on the QRFs or Westcott's claims, but the current acting president of the Oath Keepers reviewed the photos and insisted she didn't recognize the men.

“I don’t think that’s them,” said Oath Keepers head Kellye Sorelle. “Nobody recognized them.

Westcott said he's willing to share his photos with the FBI, which he realizes complicates his role as a journalist.

“It’s a sticky situation to be in," he said. "On one hand, as a journalist I have a responsibility to protect my notes and raw files as protected under the First Amendment ... [but] if they had succeeded, there wouldn’t be a First Amendment to protect anymore.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Jan. 6 committee drops subpoenas for Trump’s ‘alternate electors’ in 7 states

Jan. 6 committee drops subpoenas for Trump’s ‘alternate electors’ in 7 states www.youtube.com