Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors say Proud Boys coordinated with far-right militias ahead of Jan. 6

Proud Boys in front of the Capitol
Proud Boys in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/for the Washington Post via Getty Images

A leader of the far-right Oath Keepers said he "organized an alliance" between his militia group and members of the Proud Boys in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to new evidence submitted by federal prosecutors.

The big picture: 10 Oath Keepers and four Proud Boys have been charged in separate, but similar cases with conspiracy to obstruct the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory. They represent arguably the most serious set of charges brought against the over 300 people arrested in connection with the Capitol siege.

Driving the news: Prosecutors allege that Kelly Meggs, the Florida leader of the Oath Keepers, "engaged in extensive planning and financing to come to Washington, D.C., and coordinate with his coconspirators and others on how to accomplish his goals of disrupting Congress."

  • Facebook messages submitted in a court filing Wednesday show Meggs discussing "an alliance" he organized between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Florida 3%ers, another far-right, anti-government militia.
  • "I've been communicating with [redacted] the leader. We are going to march with them for awhile then fall back to the back of the crowd and turn off," Meggs wrote. "Then we will have the proud boys get in front of them. ... We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them."

Meggs told an associate that he expected Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act the week before the Electoral College certification. "Then wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection," Meggs advised his associate, according to the messages.

  • On Jan. 3, Meggs told an associate that he believed they were being “called” to Washington because Vice President Pence was presenting evidence of voter fraud to Congress and that the situation “checks all the boxes."
  • Meggs emphasized that Jan. 6 would not be a "rally."

The other side: Attorneys for the Oath Keepers have argued that preparations discussed by the defendants, including a "provisions list" that included mace, batons and body armor, were in anticipation of potential clashes with antifa — not part of a plan to storm the Capitol, according to Politico.

Read the full filing.

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