The Oath Keepers are the highest-profile and most extensively prosecuted militia group associated with the events of January 6. So far, the government has charged a total of 18 Oath Keepers with conspiring to obstruct Congress’s certification of the 2020 Presidential Election. This is a serious conspiracy charge that could potentially lead to decades of prison time.
Oddly enough, Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes himself has not been charged with anything, despite the fact that the government cites Rhodes’s own statements and actions as largely constitutive of the conspiracy for which so many of his underlings face charges. Revolver News has previously covered this extensively in a major piece of investigative journalism.
Apart from any charges of conspiracy, there is no doubt that, based on his actions on January 6, Stewart Rhodes could technically be prosecuted for trespassing on US Capitol grounds.
Just last Thursday, in fact, approximately 20 FBI vehicles swooped in on the home of Oath Keepers associate Jeremy Brown, searched his belongings for five and a half hours, and took all of his phones and electronics. The feds justified their entire raid on Brown on a minor alleged “trespassing” offense.
Stewart Rhodes is on record and on video committing the exact same trespassing offense—a fact that has also been stipulated in court.
All of this raises serious questions that the government and its press lackeys have yet to answer.
Why has the government avoided indicting Rhodes on an easy lay-up trespassing charge? Why are they protecting him from indictment on more serious conspiracy charges? And if, after 9 months of “investigation,” the Feds eventually hit Rhodes with a minor charge like trespassing, rather than the more serious conspiracy charge so many of his underlings face, what would that imply?
This report will answer these questions, and in so doing raise some profoundly disturbing questions related to federal involvement, at the very highest levels, in the events of January 6.
Before we proceed, however, we must very clearly state one thing: If Stewart Rhodes were to be charged with trespassing, it would be a very stupid and illegitimate charge, just like it would be for any other January 6 attendee who never went inside the Capitol. But if the Justice Department wants to, levying such a charge would be inescapable, based on the aggressive prosecutorial standard it has already established for January 6 cases.
Back to the case of Jeremy Brown. The Justice Department explained in its peculiar arrest affidavit for Brown, an Army Green Beret veteran and Oath Keeper associate, that anyone who set foot anywhere in a giant swath of land ranging from the Capitol’s West side lawn to its East side promenade is technically guilty of trespassing:
Under ordinary circumstances, these “grounds” are open to the public, not “restricted.” But because law enforcement erected some police barriers and fencing there on January 6—barriers that were all but removed before most of the attendees even arrived at the Capitol—thousands of Trump supporters unknowingly crossed an imaginary Maginot Line.
Effectively, they walked into a booby trap.
When the FBI arrested Oath Keeper associate Jeremy Brown last week for trespassing, they said he was standing on the East side promenade, and therefore, he was technically “more than 100 feet within the restricted grounds.”
That puts Jeremy Brown here, on the red X:
Stewart Rhodes, the head of the Oath Keepers, was actually standing on the Capitol steps, even deeper into that restricted zone than Brown.
For example, here is Rhodes on the Capitol steps, between 3:35-3:41 p.m., on January 6:
Here’s a video of the same scene:
At the time the above video was taken, at least 14 of Rhodes’s lieutenants had just been inside the Capitol building. On the steps, the Oath Keepers came out to meet their leader, Rhodes, who had been waiting for them to file out one by one.
Rhodes’s presence on the Capitol steps is well known to the Justice Department, as it has been since January 6. But instead of charging Rhodes, like they just charged Jeremy Brown, the DOJ has instead weaponized Rhodes’s presence on the Capitol steps as corroborating evidence that the Oath Keepers were following a common conspiracy to obstruct the Senate vote—because they were following their common leader, Rhodes:
One additional charged member of the group has denied knowing that Person One was on the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. However, publicly available photographs and video show someone consistent in appearance with Person One on the east side of the Capitol on the afternoon of January 6, 2021. At one point, around 4:00 p.m.—as many rioters were exiting the Capitol—a large group that included… members of the stack, and other individuals wearing “Oath Keepers” clothing and insignia who also stormed the Capitol gathered around Person One and stood around waiting for at least ten minutes in that location.
An hour before this meet-up at the Northeast entrance, Rhodes had been all over the Southeast entrance too. In the below photo, Rhodes was not just at the bottom of the steps waiting for his men to come out—he was by the very top of the Southeast entrance, minutes before his men went in through the main Columbus doors:
According to court records, from this location, Rhodes instructed his Oath Keeper lieutenants at 2:14 p.m. to “Come to South Side of Capitol on steps.” This was just two minutes after protesters shattered glass windows for the very first time.
Rhodes even sent his men a picture of the Capitol steps so they couldn’t miss it.
Rhodes then texted his Oath Keeper leaders: “Patriots pounding on doors,” and sent another picture. Rhodes regularly calls Oath Keeper leaders “patriots.” Per court records, Rhodes texted, “Patriots pounding on doors” at 2:41 p.m. That very minute, Rhodes’s men in the “military stack” had just breached the main Capitol doors.
It is simply indisputable that Rhodes was texting his followers while inside an illegally restricted zone.
Again, it is absurd and unjust for the government to charge anyone with such a petty, meaningless and innocent charge as trespassing in this technical sense. No one should be slapped with these charges, including Rhodes. And yet, the fact that so many people technically trespassed on Capitol grounds simply raises even more questions regarding the government’s selective prosecution (and selective non-prosecution) of Oath Keepers, and others, on January 6.
To be clear: The government is prosecuting totally benign onlookers like the aforementioned Jeremy Brown simply for standing where Rhodes explicitly ordered his men to come.
Former DEA agent Mark Ibrahim is another unfortunate Capitol trespasser who is being railroaded by the feds. In charging Mark Ibrahim with trespassing, the Justice Department said he was “approximately 180 feet” inside the restricted zone at 2:10 p.m., because he was standing on a patch of grass close to the Peace Monument:
Ibrahim explained this charade prosecution to Tucker Carlson in July:
Let’s return now to Green Beret veteran Jeremy Brown, who was charged with trespassing for merely standing in front of the East side steps—the very steps that Stewart Rhodes was actually standing on.
The prosecution of Brown for such a minor crime, after so long a time, is an extremely curious development.
Brown’s arrest on September 30 comes nine months after January 6. So much time had elapsed that the DOJ’s “Capitol Breach Cases” site, which for months was pinned to the top of the Justice.gov sidebar, is gone from the homepage.
One would think, at this point, new cases would only arise because of new evidence.
But it was not “new evidence” that caused the FBI to arrest Jeremy Brown. They knew exactly where Brown was on January 6. Per the FBI’s affidavit, the FBI even called Brown directly, both on January 6 and again on January 7. Brown plainly told them where he was. The FBI even served a search warrant on Verizon, on January 6 itself, which identified Brown’s cell phone coordinates as being inside the Capitol restricted grounds.
Given the fact that Brown and Ibrahim were brought in on spurious trespassing charges, why hasn’t Stewart Rhodes similarly been arrested?
To answer this question properly, we must first recount the extraordinary role Rhodes plays in the Oath Keeper’s conspiracy case, based on the government’s own theory of the case against Rhodes’s alleged lieutenants. Remember, conspiracy is the primary and most serious offense Rhodes’s alleged lieutenants are facing. We will then address the likelihood and implications of Rhodes facing some sort of criminal charges as the early 2022 trials for the Oath Keepers draw near.
The Total Protection Of Stewart Rhodes, For Nine Months And Counting
Revolver’s June 30 report focused on perhaps the single biggest bombshell of the entire 1/6 storyline: the DOJ’s ongoing protection of “Person One” even after the indictment of 18 separate Oath Keepers defendants, including 16 in the primary conspiracy case, Caldwell et al.
To recap our bombshell report, prosecutors argue it was:
To be clear, we at Revolver are not leveling these allegations—federal prosecutors are. Prosecutors have built their entire legal case against 16 Oath Keeper defendants in Caldwell et al on the sequence above.
To appreciate the magnitude of Rhodes’s role in the prosecution’s conspiracy case against his Oath Keepers underlings, consider these three facts:
We’ll say that again: 100% of all phone calls prosecutors cite as evidence implicating 16 defendants in coordinating January 6’s biggest conspiracy involve two people who are not even charged. Even though together, Rhodes and Person Ten allegedly led the day’s “ground operations,” and even had a direct joint three-way phone call with the head of the Oath Keepers “military stack” at the very same minute the stack allegedly assembled to enter the Capitol.
Perhaps it would make sense that Person One (Rhodes) and Person Ten are in 100% of the indictment’s phone calls if the only phones the FBI has are Person One and Person Ten’s. The reality, however, is precisely the opposite. Incredibly, the FBI seized all 16 of the defendants’ phones and electronics immediately upon their respective arrests. And yet, to this day, the FBI still has not served a search warrant on Rhodes, except for that of a single iPhone that wasn’t searched until May—four months after the first indictments. And according to Rhodes’s attorney, that search warrant appears to have been for the FBI to dig up dirt on other defendants — not part of an FBI investigation into Rhodes himself.
In a March 15 interview, Rhodes himself confirmed that by that date, none of his phones or electronic communications devices had been searched or seized by the FBI. March 15 would be two months after the first Oath Keeper arrests. Rhodes was already listed as Person One in the original January indictment.
In the clip below, Rhodes is asked how so many of his Signal messages managed to end up in the Oath Keepers indictment, given that Signal is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app. Rhodes replies that the indictment’s text messages and call data were actually reconstructed from phones seized from other Oath Keepers upon their arrest. That is, they all came from other people’s phones, rather than any search warrant Rhodes himself was served:
So we know, from Rhodes himself, that none of his personal communications devices had even been sought by the FBI as of March 15.
This is Person One in the biggest 1/6 case, and the FBI never even bothered to serve him a search warrant for months afterwards. And even then, the search warrant is cartoonishly limited, and not even to investigate Rhodes, but to investigate people Rhodes had communicated with.
The fact that the feds have protected Rhodes from even a basic, proper search is arguably even more remarkable than Rhodes’s protection from indictment for any 1/6 related charges. Compare this lack of proper search to the standard approach of the FBI reflected in the recent experience of a couple who had their home raided and electronics confiscated by means of a search warrant. FBI agents raided said Georgia family’s home, held their 11-year-old daughter at gunpoint using laser sights, and seized every electronic device, including cell phones, computers, and even the 11-year-old girl’s tablet.
What was the FBI’s reason for the search? The couple had attended the ‘Stop the Steal’ protest on January 6, and even though they did not participate in any riot, they had been in “frequent communication” with a Georgia Three Percenter militia leader. Even though the couple were not involved in any illegal acts, and were not even members of the Three Percenter militia, their mere contact and association with an unindicted militia leader suspected of having “other people do his dirty work” was enough to have every electronic and communications device in their house seized.
And yet Rhodes, Person One in the feds’ biggest 1/6 conspiracy case, and the founder and leader of the militia group imputed to the day’s most “insurrectionist” elements, remains as exempt from a standard-practice FBI search as he does from indictment.
Does Rhodes’s situation reflect that of a top suspect that “prosecutors are closing in on” as the public was told back in March, around the time of the above interview? Or does it sound more like the treatment of someone being protected, rather than prosecuted, by the Justice Department?
Now, nine months after January 6, Rhodes still has not been charged with conspiracy.
Bizarrely, Rhodes’s hypothetical legal defenses to the conspiracy charge have already been rejected by the Justice Department in their pursuit of his followers.
The first defense—that Rhodes never went inside the Capitol himself—is invalidated by the fact that neither did several of Rhodes’s indicted lieutenants. This means the DOJ’s theory of the conspiracy case does not shield Oath Keepers, like Rhodes, who coordinated events but remained outside.
In our previous reporting, we told the sad tale of 65 year old fully-disabled defendant Thomas Caldwell. Caldwell, like Rhodes, never went in the building. Yet Caldwell is facing conspiracy charges, and to prove its case, the government cites Rhodes’s “Call to Action”, Rhodes’s text messages, and Rhodes’s presence at the Capitol, among other of his statements and actions.
An interview by Julie Kelly last week revealed that Rhodes had actually personally approached Caldwell at a rally in November to entice Caldwell to get wrapped up in Rhodes’s Oath Keeper plans and involve him in this mess.
Just recently, Caldwell explained to Tucker Carlson how he was framed-up by the FBI:
Everything about the DOJ’s disparate treatments of Caldwell versus Rhodes is upside-down.
In case you’re wondering, Caldwell suffered the FBI’s full gestapo-style search in January, as detailed by Julie Kelly of American Greatness:
Thomas Caldwell’s wife awakened him in a panic at 5:30 a.m. on January 19.
“The FBI is at the door and I’m not kidding,” Sharon Caldwell told her husband.
Caldwell, 66, clad only in his underwear, went to see what was happening outside his Virginia farm. “There was a full SWAT team, armored vehicles with a battering ram, and people screaming at me,” Caldwell told me during a lengthy phone interview on September 21. “People who looked like stormtroopers were pointing M4 weapons at me, covering me with red [laser] dots.”
Agents demanded that Caldwell, a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy who suffers from debilitating service-related spinal injuries, come outside and lay down in the grass.
Roughly 20 agents raided the Caldwell home, taking every electronic device including old computers and hard drives. This included Caldwell’s downloaded copies of cherished pictures. “They took every family photo we have.”
Recall that Rhodes, by contrast, only had a single cell phone searched four months after January 6.
Legally, there is no conceivable reason to indict Caldwell for conspiracy and not indict Rhodes. Since Caldwell never went into the Capitol, the DOJ appears to base its conspiracy charges against Caldwell on his alleged role in organizing a contingency “Quick Reaction Force” (QRF) outside the District, in the state of Virginia. For those unfamiliar, a QRF is a military-style term referring to an armed unit capable of rapidly responding to developing threats, typically to assist allied units.
It is important to note that Rhodes, a free man, was far more involved in the Oath Keepers’ QRF than Caldwell ever was. Not just by a little bit, either—by orders of magnitude.
That “QRF” was a plan to keep firearms lawfully outside the Capitol in Virginia, but then ride into DC in case of an emergency breakout of violence. The QRF was never actually deployed on January 6, but the Justice Department has accused Caldwell of planning it, and such a plan, the government argues, was an illegal conspiracy. Per their March filing to deny Caldwell bail:
It does not matter whether [the Oath Keepers] planned to use this violence to support the president when he invoked the insurrection act or to attack the Capitol if the vice president allowed the certification to go forward—under either scenario, they were plotting to use violence to support the unlawful obstruction of a Congressional proceeding.
Caldwell’s focus on whether or when he or those with whom he was communicating intended to force his way inside the Capitol is beside the point. He is not charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol.
But since that’s the government’s position, Stewart Rhodes should be totally screwed on conspiracy charges. The armed QRF outside DC was Rhodes’s idea. Rhodes even reassured his entire Oath Keepers national membership ahead of time that he had “well armed and equipped QRF teams on standby, outside DC” in a January 4 “Call To Action” post:
In his January 4 post, PERSON ONE also observed: “As we have done on all recent DC Ops, we will also have well armed and equipped QRF teams on standby, outside DC, in the event of a worst case scenario, where the President calls us up as part of the militia to to assist him inside DC. We don’t expect a need for him to call on us for that at this time, but we stand ready if he does (and we also stand ready to answer the call to serve as militia anytime in the future, and anywhere in our nation, if he does invoke the Insurrection Act).”
Rhodes described his QRF units “as a nuclear option,” which would be “on the outside of DC, armed, prepared to go in, if the President calls us up.”
Rhodes may argue “well the President didn’t call us up, and the QRF never deployed, so this is irrelevant.” But the government’s official position has already screwed Rhodes out of this defense. As noted above, prosecutors have already argued in the Caldwell indictment that:
It does not matter whether [the Oath Keepers] planned to use this violence [from the armed QRF units] to support the president when he invoked the insurrection act.
In other words, Rhodes’s entire defense about planned violence being conditional on President Trump invoking the Insurrection Act has been totally preempted by the Justice Department already.
Of course, the Justice Department’s position could very well be absurd and unjust—and we at Revolver think it is. But what’s relevant for our purposes is not the validity of the government’s position, but the seemingly inexplicable fact that such a prosecutorial standard has been applied to a small fish like Caldwell, while big fish Stewart Rhodes enjoys total protection from the same prosecutorial standard.
In the interest of justice, either Rhodes has to be hit with conspiracy charges, or Thomas Caldwell has to walk free. That is, unless Rhodes is being protected for other reasons. And clearly there is some sort of protection, because it gets even worse from here.
Rhodes repeatedly reassured his men that the QRFs, which the government is prosecuting Caldwell for simply texting about, were reliable:
PERSON ONE continued, “I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside, and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in armed, if they have to . . . . So our posture’s gonna be that we’re posted outside of DC, um, awaiting the President’s orders. . . . We hope he will give us the orders. We want him to declare an insurrection, and to call us up as the militia.”
Our men will be standing by, awaiting the President’s orders to call us up as the militia, which would override D.C.’s ridiculous anti-gun laws (by federal statute, all Americans from age 17-45 are subject to being called up as the militia by the President, and all military veterans are subject to being called up until age 65 because of our training and experience).
Oath Keepers will also have some of our most skilled special warfare veterans standing by armed, just outside D.C., as an emergency QRF in the event of a worst case scenario in D.C…
In July, Stewart Rhodes went on camera in a livestream and confessed to having armed, on-duty police officers inside DC on January 6—members of Oath Keepers—who would serve as “a lethal force of last resort” for the QRF:
It’s very likely Rhodes was never supposed to let those sentences about the Oath Keeper police officers slip. Prior to Revolver’s unearthing of this video last month, Rhodes had been highly active on patriot radio networks giving public interviews. He has not since made a public address.
There is currently a major ongoing investigation into whether, why and to what extent certain first-responding on-duty police officers appeared to coordinate with protesters. And here we have the head of the Oath Keepers, who already was causing headaches for the FBI on account of his curious lack of prosecution and growing speculation as to whether he was a government informant, making a spontaneous, unsolicited revelation that armed, on-duty police officers inside DC were secretly in league with Rhodes on January 6, as part of Rhodes’s own personal QRF.
Recall again the government’s official position, which it invokes to justify its indictment and continued prosecution of Thomas Caldwell:
It does not matter whether [the Oath Keepers] planned to use this violence to support the president when he invoked the insurrection act or to attack the Capitol if the vice president allowed the certification to go forward—under either scenario, they were plotting to use violence to support the unlawful obstruction of a Congressional proceeding.
Oddly enough, Rhodes made this reveal in an interview conducted by none other than Jeremy Brown, the very Army Green Beret veteran and Oath Keeper associate who was inexplicably arrested by the FBI just last week on a trumped-up charge of trespassing.
We do not yet know why the FBI strangely decided to go after Jeremy Brown just last week, when they knew his exact coordinates at the Capitol all the way back in January.
Some speculate that Brown’s sudden arrest is to silence or intimidate him before the upcoming Oath Keeper trials. Brown was, after all, a part of the Florida contingent of Oath Keeper associates who flew to North Carolina and drove up from there to DC. Since half of the indicted Oath Keepers are from this exact contingent, Brown would know the entire Oath Keeper network involved that day including possible informants, and might reveal information that could jeopardize the DOJ’s cases ahead of trial.
For example, Thomas Caldwell’s alleged “QRF” consisted of just one man, who was also the bus driver for the North Carolina meet-up. That bus driver, “Person Three” remains a mysteriously unindicted co-conspirator in the Oath Keepers case, despite being far more central to the alleged QRF than Caldwell was.
And yes, Regime-media fact checkers, “unindicted co-conspirator” is the correct description for Person Three. The government itself refers to Person Three as “a third co-conspirator:”
Remarkably, seven months ago, Jeremy Brown came forward with a video and audio recording of him purportedly being approached by two government agents—both from DHS, working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”)—to become a confidential informant to infiltrate the Oath Keepers. While the tape, to Revolver’s knowledge, has not been independently corroborated, it purports to provide a window into how government agents were recruiting Oath Keepers as feds in the weeks before January 6:
Perhaps it was this close monitoring of Jeremy Brown that allowed the FBI to pinpoint Brown for two direct phone calls, both on the day of January 6 and the following day. But if the government was already closely monitoring Brown weeks before January 6, that would mean they were monitoring the entire Florida Oath Keeper network that Brown was speaking to. This network, as mentioned above, comprises half of the 16 defendants in January 6’s flagship prosecution.
So if Jeremy Brown’s video is corroborated, that would mean the FBI was already tracking and infiltrating the exact Oath Keepers network it would later frame for January 6’s most serious offenses—and it was doing so for weeks before the protest, while covertly offering military veterans cash rewards to become government operatives ahead of the big day.
What Fate Will Befall Stewart Rhodes?
Whatever the government’s true purpose for going after Jeremy Brown last week, his arrest serves to normalize the notion that the DOJ is still pursuing high-profile figures associated with January 6 militia groups.
And it normalizes the notion that more such arrests may be forthcoming.
The elephant in the room is the question of whether Stewart Rhodes will face some sort of charge as well.
Back in July, Rhodes responded to our June 30 report by portraying our investigation into his inexplicable legal immunity as akin to a witch trial. Rhodes suggests that Revolver’s position is that no matter what happens to Rhodes, the most likely explanation is that he’s an informant or undercover agent. Rhodes likens this to a “witch trial,” in which he’s a witch whether or not he drowns.
Being charitable, one can understand his point.
But framing the issue this way is extraordinarily deceptive, and misses the core of our argument. Rhodes uses a rhetorical sleight of hand that evades the central question: just what would he be indicted for? A dramatically lesser, wholly unrelated charge to the central Oath Keepers conspiracy charge could get pled down to mere months, if any time at all. This is still inexplicable federal protection, as Rhodes’s own lieutenants are facing 60+ years of stacking charges based on far weaker fact patterns.
Suppose, for instance, Rhodes is indicted tomorrow on a trivial charge like trespassing. The feds would have to then explain why it took over 9 months to come up with this charge when they’ve had the evidence of his trespassing since January. And this still wouldn’t explain the fact that they studiously avoided a thorough search of Rhodes’s electronics, having only taken a single cell phone four months after the events of January 6. And, finally, this still wouldn’t explain why Rhodes deserves to face a trivial charge like trespassing when the rest of the Oath Keepers face conspiracy charges. Remember, the government relies overwhelmingly on Rhodes’s own statements and actions to construct its conspiracy case.
The bottom line? If Rhodes is arrested for a trivial charge like trespassing, this answers none of our questions regarding the federal government’s seemingly inexplicable protection of the Oath Keepers founder and leader.
Indeed, if Rhodes did operate as a government asset on 1/6, some sort of arrest shortly before the Oath Keepers trial would be ordinary course. The DOJ’s use of a side-trial to keep government informants quiet is such a common tactic, they even deployed it on their key FBI informant, Steve Robeson, during the recent Michigan Plot case.
Federal informant Steve Robeson was allegedly the leader of of the Wisconsin Patriot Three Percenters militia. Buzzfeed explains how the DOJ burned its key informant on an unrelated weapons charge:
Patriots… began posting videos fingering Robey as a potential informant. About a month after the takedown, they even questioned him online for more than two hours. A fast talker, he deflected question after question with answers that seemed sincere but sometimes made no sense. In January, Blanchard named him in open court, and some of the defense attorneys began exploring the idea of calling him to testify on their clients’ behalf. If they could get Robey on the stand, they reasoned, it might reveal a great deal about the government’s direct involvement in fostering the conspiracy. One called him a “professional snitch.”
Then, in early March, something curious happened: Robey was indicted.
The single charge sprung from an incident 11 days before the takedown, when Robeson was caught with a sniper rifle capable of blasting a .50-caliber slug a mile and a half away. As a convicted felon, Robeson couldn’t touch such a weapon.
That charge meant he could face up to a decade in prison. But it also meant he probably wouldn’t be a viable witness for the defense, since he would be almost certain to plead the 5th to avoid incriminating himself. It seems unlikely that he will ever testify about his role in the plot. His trial in Wisconsin federal court is currently set to begin on the exact same day — Oct. 12 — as the Michigan case.
Robey has denied nothing in his own criminal case. Yes, he’d had the gun. But, his lawyer argued, he’d also had something else: permission, as a confidential informant, to “engage in illegal conduct.”
Robey’s actions, no matter how far outside the lines, were done with “authorization from the FBI.”
Months ago, Rhodes said that he expected to face some sort of criminal charges. But if the charges are minor and unrelated to the conspiracy case, it will be obvious such charges are designed to burn him as a witness for the Oath Keepers trial or create personal leverage against him not to “break bad.” Perhaps such a charge could also serve as a fairly benign way of alleviating precisely the sorts of pressure generated by Revolver News’ reporting around Rhodes’s inexplicable protection by the DOJ.
But the leverage, in this case, may also swing in Rhodes’s direction rather than the other way around.
Rhodes has made cryptic remarks about what would happen if the FBI-DOJ decided to make a serious move in prosecuting him. In the below clip from a July 2021 interview, Rhodes gave a curious answer to justify his confidence: he cited “discovery.”
This is a highly unusual statement to make as a defendant facing a criminal case. It’s true that in a civil case, the prospect of “discovery” creates leverage against the opposing party, because one gets to unearth the embarrassing dirt hiding in the other party’s “file drawer.”
But how could Rhodes possibly leverage the discovery process against the FBI and Justice Department in a criminal case? What exactly is in the government’s “file drawer” on Rhodes?
Could it be information about the role of a major government informant on January 6, which would blow up the official 1/6 narrative?
If Rhodes is indeed a confidential informant or asset of some kind, the Justice Department will fight like hell to avoid disclosure of that fact—forever. Including all the way through trial, and the years after.
Case in point: in May 2015, a devout Muslim named Elmer Simpson shot a security guard in the so-called “first domestic terror attack from ISIS on American soil.” The tragedy was uniformly reported at the time as a surprise ISIS attack that demanded an escalation of war with Syria. When an associate of Elmer Simpson was later charged with conspiracy, his entire criminal trial came and went without the Justice Department ever disclosing that an undercover FBI informant had been texting Simpson to “Tear Up Texas” days before the shooting. An FBI agent was even driving right behind Simpson, in a separate car, video recording Simpson as he drove to the site of the crime, got out of the car, and shot the security guard at close range.
None of this came out until years after the trial, thanks to a separate private investigation. After these revelations became public, the FBI still issued its blank response: “There was no advance knowledge.”
But there wasn’t just advance knowledge; there was advance orchestration.
The “First Domestic ISIS Plot” is a tremendous example of the lengths that FBI and Justice Department officials will go to ensure a sham trial by hiding the role of informants and undercover agents that could destroy a highly sensitive criminal case.
Ultimately, the fate of Stewart Rhodes will turn on how honest the DOJ decides to be when complying with its Brady obligations. Brady is the legal rule that requires prosecutors to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence in its possession to defense lawyers.
The specifics of the DOJ’s Brady strategy will likely to set the tone for whether Rhodes will end up getting burned.
It should be noted that last month, the DOJ told the court that its scheduled January 2022 trial for various Oath Keepers is no longer a “sustainable” target date, as the government needs more time to make its Brady disclosures.
This is to be expected. Open and honest Brady disclosures would not only tank the government’s cases—it would rain fallout over all of federal law enforcement and domestic intelligence. So the DOJ is taking extra time to be precise and strategic, and to hide the maximum amount of information from defendants regarding what its government assets were doing within patriot and militia groups before January 6.
But they have a big problem: all roads in the January 6 event lead back to Rhodes. So if Rhodes is a fed, that would mean the government used a fake anti-government front group to “attack” itself and frame the sitting President and his supporters for the crime.
Imagine that coming out in “Discovery.”
Perhaps this is why the fate of Stewart Rhodes remains in a holding pattern. Seven months ago, back in March, mainstream media told us “prosecutors are closing in” on Rhodes. It’s nothing but crickets now.
So here’s where we are:
The Stewart Rhodes scandal is far past the point of any last-minute wrist-slap designed to force Rhodes to plead the Fifth if defense lawyers summon him for testimony at trial. If anything, such a last-minute technicality would effectively be an open confession letter from the FBI.
The situation looks more damning by the day when it comes to the question of federal foreknowledge of and involvement in 1/6 at the very highest levels. Perhaps there is some as yet undiscovered innocent explanation for the glaring and seemingly damning questions raised above. If this is the case, it is time for the Justice Department and the FBI to explain themselves to the American people. We need answers. And we need them now.
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