Members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers held a planning meeting in which they plotted a strategy to “fight” on behalf of former President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, and prosecutors played audio recording of their conversation in court on Tuesday, CNN reports.
“The meeting lasted about two hours and was secretly recorded by an attendee, FBI agent Michael Palian told jurors during the second day of the trial of far-right militia Oath Keepers leaders on seditious conspiracy charges,” according to the report.
Palian said that the attendee later sent a tip to the FBI days later. He was interviewed by federal agents in March 2021 and gave them the recording.
“We’re not getting out of this without a fight. There’s going to be a fight,” Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes said in the recording played in court. “But let’s just do it smart and let’s do it while President Trump is still commander in chief,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes repeatedly said that the Oath Keepers would be “awaiting the president’s orders.”
“If the fight comes, let the fight come. Let Antifa go – if they go kinetic on us then we’ll go kinetic back on them. I’m willing to sacrifice myself for that,” Rhodes said in the recording. “If things go kinetic, good. If they blow bombs up and shoot us, great. Because that brings the President reason and rationale,” he said.
“So our mission going to be to go into DC, but I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in if they have to. So, if the s**t kicks off, then you rock and roll,” he told the other members.
Two other defendants, Jessica Watkins and Kelly Meggs, are also on the recording discussing what weapons to bring into Washington D.C., prosecutors said.
The recording is the first major piece of evidence that prosecutors have used to establish a plan by the far-right group to allegedly descend on Washington and oppose the transfer of power.