Justice Department prosecutors wrote in a court filing on Thursday that the leader of a paramilitary group believed “that she was awaiting direction” from former President Donald Trump before the Capitol riot, CNN reports.
Prosecutors accuse Jessica Watkins of “forced entry into the Capitol building,” and of being the leader of an Ohio-based group that is connected to the paramilitary group the Oath Keepers. They claim that some in the group coordinated a “quick reaction force,” that would be placed outside Washington, D.C. “with guns” to “await … orders to enter DC under permission from Trump,” according to the filing.
“Watkins is a military veteran and confirmed dues-paying member of the Oath Keepers. At the top of her Parler account, Watkins states that she is ‘C.O. [Commanding Officer] of the Ohio State Regular Militia,’” prosecutors note. “The Ohio State Regular Militia is a local militia organization whose members form a subset of the Oath Keepers.”
They note that “As the inauguration grew nearer, Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump.”
They add: “Her concern about taking action without his backing was evident in a November 9, 2020, text in which she stated, 'I am concerned this is an elaborate trap. Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it's not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will. Otherwise, I can't trust it.' Watkins had perceived her desired signal by the end of December.”
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