A former Oath Keepers member testified Thursday that he believed group founder Stewart Rhodes was in contact with a Secret Service agent.
John Zimmerman told jurors that Rhodes, who's on trial for seditious conspiracy, claimed at a September 2020 rally to have the phone number of someone with the Secret Service who was in contact with former president Donald Trump.
Zimmerman testified that he didn't know whether Rhodes had a connection to Trump, whom he tried to speak with directly by phone the night of the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to another Oath Keeper militant who pleaded guilty seditious conspiracy in May.
William Todd Wilson told a federal court earlier this year that he joined Rhodes at a hotel near the U.S. Capitol shortly after the deadly attack and listened as the militia group's leader called a Trump intermediary on speakerphone but was denied.
“[Rhodes] repeatedly implore the individual to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose a transfer of power,” Wilson said in his guilty plea.
Zimmerman testified Thursday that Rhodes believed in November 2020 that the former president would invoke the Insurrection Act to handle a "rogue government."
"Kind of like what we're going through now," Zimmerman testified, "with Congress just seeming to do whatever they want."
Rhodes called the person Zimmerman believed to be his Secret Service contact during a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in September 2020 to ask what "parameters we could operate under," the former Oath Keepers member testified.