None have been more sentenced in connection with the events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, and none have been treated more harshly in their time behind bars, than the Oath Keepers.
The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, was convicted of seditious conspiracy and handed an 18-year sentence in a federal prison.
Of Rhodes’ fellow Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs received a dozen years for the seditious conspiracy; Jessica Watkins, convicted of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and interfering with police, received eight and a half years; and Kenneth Harrelson was dealt four years for obstructing an official proceeding, interfering with police, and tampering with documents or proceedings, according to investigative reporter Steve Baker.
The mere mention of the Oath Keepers has become synonymous with “domestic terrorism,” thanks to the Biden administration and Democratic Party leaders.
“For each of these trials, the U.S. Justice Department brought out its big guns. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler’s opening statement threw down the gauntlet, declaring five Oath Keepers were ‘the leaders’ of the ‘insurrection,’” Baker states in his analysis of newly available video evidence for Blaze Media
Baker, along with two other Blaze Media employees and a House Oversight Committee staffer, poured through 14,000 hours of U.S. Capitol CCTV video, and what they found is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Lazarus, a member of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s security detail, testified that he passed by USCP Officer Harry Dunn engaging with four Oath Keepers “three or four times” while he was evacuating staffers for Pelosi who were trapped in a locked office in her chambers.
Lazarus went on to explain that he observed Dunn “arguing” with rioters and that during that exchange, he eventually found an opening through the rioters and was able to rescue “11 or 12” of Pelosi’s staffers. During his sworn testimony, Lazarus went into great detail about the problems he had getting through the crowd of rioters gathered at the top of the stairwell where Dunn was having what became a much-publicized interchange with the Oath Keepers.
Lazarus explained that one rioter asked, “Who are you? Who are you?” Then, according to the trial transcript, he testified:
And, you know, one attempted to — I had my lanyard on with my ID on it. And one — they were videotaping, and one attempted to pull at my ID. And I kind of, like, grabbed it back and looked, made sure it was still there. And then I saw an opening. So then I just kind of, like, walked fast to get into the office and then check on the staff again.
Lazarus’ detailed description of what took place — what Lazarus described as “very antagonistic” in the “three or four times” he passed by — was a dramatic moment in the trial.
“Every time I interacted or came by, yes, it was antagonistic,” explained Lazarus under direct questioning by Assistant United States Attorney Alexandra Hughes.
Lazarus was even shown a short cellphone video clip of the four Oath Keepers standing in front of Dunn:
Hughes: And are these the individuals you observed, the antagonistic conversation?
Hughes: At any point in these three or four interactions in this space, did you observe any sort of — anything but an antagonistic conversation?
Lazarus: That’s correct.
“The problem with Lazarus’ testimony about this significant event is that, according to direct video evidence the jury never saw, it never happened,” Baker states
The video, he explains, “appears to prove conclusively that Special Agent Lazarus was not in that part of the Capitol Building at the time he claimed but was in fact in the lower tunnels that lead to the Senate office buildings, escorting senators away from the Capitol.”
“By analyzing the footage from multiple CCTV cameras and comparing the timelines associated with Officer Dunn’s actual interaction on camera with the Oath Keepers, it is clear that Lazarus did not arrive at the bottom of the staircase until three and a half minutes after the last of the Oath Keepers had left the area and were exiting the Capitol Building,” Baker writes. “Lazarus emerged from the top of the stairwell just after 3:05 p.m., after tactical units from the ATF and D.C. Metro Police had completely cleared the top of that staircase, the Speaker’s Lobby, and the speaker’s offices of all protesters.”
Baker goes on to detail the conflicting reports of the incident that Lazarus and Dunn have given and offers precise, irrefutable timeline evidence that appears to conclusively show that things could not have happened the way Lazarus claimed under oath that they did.
On Wednesday, Baker appeared on “The Glenn Beck Program” and, citing sealed documents revealed that a Capitol police officer actually changed his original testimony regarding his interaction with the Oath Keepers.
During an FBI interview, the officer said the Oath Keepers were helping him to de-escalate the increasingly volatile situation at the Capitol and helped to keep the agitated protestors off of him.
“That was in May of ’21, that interview,” Baker told Beck. “In August of ’21, this officer was brought back in, and the testimony was changed into an aggravated, contentious event with the Oath Keepers.”
As for the videos proving Lazarus lied, Baker stressed, “These are videos that were never released to the defense attorneys in this trial.”
“If we were living in normal times,” Beck replied, “the people that had been convicted with any of the testimony revolving around these guys, they would be released.”
“Any other time in American history, they would be released,” Beck stated, “because this is perjury and somebody set this up.”