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Wyoming

Veterans Joined Oath Keepers Organization to Continue Serving Their Community

WASHINGTON — Veterans testified in federal court docket Oct. 8 that they joined the Oath Keepers group as a result of they felt a dedication to proceed serving their nation.

Lee Maddox, 43, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, served within the Army for eight years. During his service, Maddox mentioned he adopted his mission orders to the letter.

He advised the court docket that he joined the Oath Keepers group about 5 years in the past out of patriotic spirit.

The group would deliver collectively veterans to supply the talents they’ve realized to assist their communities. As a member of the Oath Keepers, Maddox taught others about fight drugs – the data he acquired whereas serving within the Army.

He described the Oath Keepers group as a gaggle that will get to know its group and neighbors and makes one of the best of every member’s talents to make a contribution within the occasion of pure disasters. Maddox defined that they fashioned groups, created group security packages for law enforcement officials who wanted help, skilled civilians to use firearms, and did different types of group service.

However, every part modified in 2020, he mentioned, when “it seemed like everyone was losing their minds”. Maddox recalled folks being killed on the streets and police vehicles being burned. “And nobody did anything about it,” he added.

A protection legal professional requested if he was used to the “bombastic” language of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. Maddox mentioned veterans usually use army language that these unfamiliar with it could discover odd. However, underneath cross-examination, he denied utilizing “bombastic” language in Rhodes’ presence.

Rhodes, one among 5 defendants dealing with a number of felony costs for his half within the January 6, 2021 occasions, has denied allegations that he conspired to breach the US Capitol that day.

Epoch Times photo
Stewart Rhodes, founding father of the Oath Keepers, seems on a display screen throughout a House Select Committee listening to investigating the January 6 assault on the US Capitol on the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington June 9, 2022. ( Brendan Smialowski/AFP through Getty Images)

Maddox mentioned he and his pals spontaneously determined to journey to Washington to attend the Jan. 6, 2021 occasion; They heard there was going to be a rally and so they wished to pay attention to then-President Donald Trump. He advised the court docket he was not conscious of any name to motion that day. While driving into the district from Wyoming, he was added to Signal group chats. On Jan. 6, Maddox mentioned he hadn’t obtained any particular steering on the place to go. He was in search of some aged folks to include him from Wyoming to the rally.

Maddox denied communication with Rhodes on January 6. He mentioned his cellphone struggled to work till later that night. He later heard from others following the information that some Oathkeepers had entered the Capitol.

A protection legal professional questioned Maddox whether or not he would have entered the Capitol if Oath Keepers had requested him to. He mentioned he did not crew up with individuals who requested him to.

“We [the Oath Keepers] are usually not anti-government; we’re pro-government and pro-constitution,” Maddox replied, denying allegations concerning the group’s motivations.

Jeffrey Nestler, a prosecutor, requested Maddox if he drove such an extended distance from Wyoming to Washington to give you the chance to take not solely his pistol but additionally his rifle. Maddox mentioned “Yes,” explaining that having a handgun is customary in Wyoming. He confirmed that each one of his pals who got here with him had weapons, however all of them left their firearms at a Virginia resort.

Maddox additionally advised Nestler that he skilled folks in “dynamic room entry,” a tactic used to fight a house invasion.

“Who would be the insurgent?” requested Nestler.

“Antifa,” Maddox replied. “The Wyoming Communist Party.”

Another veteran, Ricky Jackson, 67, of Georgia, served seven years of lively service within the Army. He mentioned he was fascinated by becoming a member of the Oath Keepers as a result of he’d heard they assist households and assist group occasions. Jackson mentioned he had at all times wished to be a part of such a corporation. Aside from the January 6 rally, he didn’t attend some other occasions with the Oath Keepers. He mentioned he did not deliver any firearms into Washington or Virginia.

While Maddox amused himself on the witness stand and sometimes giggled whereas talking to the attorneys within the courtroom, Jackson was stern and severe.

During cross-examination, Jackson virtually misplaced endurance attempting to get a prosecutor, Alexandra Hughes, to perceive that whereas he was concentrating on defending folks on the foot of the Capitol steps on Jan. 6, he was paying no consideration to anybody else loud noises round him.

Hughes tried to get Jackson to establish the voice of Joshua James, a member of the Oath Keepers from Alabama. James entered the Capitol on January 6 and yelled at US law enforcement officials whereas Jackson didn’t enter the Capitol.

Epoch Times photo
Joshua A. James with fellow Oath Keepers close to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. (US Department of Justice/Screenshot through The Epoch Times)

James pleaded responsible to counts of seditious conspiracy and obstruction.

“Is it a crime to speak loudly to the police?” requested a protection legal professional.

“No, I don’t assume so. It’s a part of the First Amendment,” Jackson replied.

Neither Jackson nor Maddox had been charged.

Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell had been charged with seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to impede an official course of, abetting and abetting, conspiracy to stop an official from performing his or her duties, destruction of presidency property, civil disturbance, and manipulating paperwork.

Madalina Vasiliu

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