52-year-old Kelly Meggs (Dunnellon), and 41-year-old Kenneth Harrelson (Titusville) have been charged with seditious conspiracy by the Department of Justice. These are the most serous charges thus far following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Both men had already been arrested prior to these charges being filed.
They are charged along with 11 Oath Keeper members, including its founder, 56-year-old Stewart Rhodes of Texas according to the indictment. Rhodes had not been facing charges until his arrest today.
Federal prosecutors allege that these members coordinated to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.
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The are accused of using encrypted messaging apps to coordinate their efforts and bring weapons with them to support the operation.
Meggs and Harrelson were dressed in military attire and apparently were marching in formation up the steps into the Capitol during the breach while another group of Oath Keepers did the same on the opposite side of the building.
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Harrelson is accused of being a month the group actively searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attacks.
Meggs’ wife, Connie Meggs was also charged int he riot and posted online messages leading up to the attack that they had organized an alliance with the Proud Boys and Three Percenters according to federal prosecutors.
Politico described Meggs as the Florida leader of the Oath Keepers organization.
According to prosecutors, Meggs began rallying others on Facebook to “join the fight” just days after the election.
“[A] lot of people here are talking! I don’t see anybody doing!” he posted Nov. 9, according to the court filing. “… This fight is face to face, not far away. If your [sic] ready to really join the fight DM me.”
Meggs later speculated Trump would use the emergency broadcast system to invoke the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that was the subject of debunked conspiracies among far-right groups about Trump remaining in power.
“That’s awesome. Any idea when?” asked the person with whom Meggs was messaging, whose name was redacted from court filings.
“Next week,” Meggs said. “Then wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection.”
Even prior to securing seditious conspiracy charges, prosecutors had said there was extensive evidence of planning ahead of the Jan. 6 riot involving Meggs, who allegedly “organized and participated in” at least 10 online meetings with fellow Oath Keepers and paid for four hotel rooms in the D.C. area for himself, his wife and fellow Oath Keepers.
After the riot, prosecutors said, Meggs wrote in a chat group on the Signal app that “We are now the enemy of the State.”