Wednesday, May 26, 2021




This section details the prior joint planning and coordination done by the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Although much of the evidence of the joint planning comes from the admission of a single Oath Keeper—Kelly Meggs on a series of Facebook posts (pdf) to presumably very trusted individuals—his activities suggest that his admissions are true (via EmptyWheel).

Before the December 12 “Stop The Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., attended by Rhodes and other Oaths Keepers as a show of support for Donald Trump, Meggs missed 5 national or Florida Go To Meeting (GTM) calls. After the DC rally, he missed an additional 6 GTM calls. Nevertheless, on December 25 he announced in a Facebook message that he had been named as the head of Florida’s Oath Keepers chapter. He organized the December 23 GTM call listed as “DC Discussion and CPT Teams” despite having missed by that point 9 GTM calls (see Table 5). And when he did deploy to DC for the January 6 attack, Meggs knew the location of the Oath Keepers’ Quick Reaction Force hotel while other senior members like Jessica Watkins and Ken Harrelson did not.

Meggs’ Facebook disclosures reveal that he “organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys.” Meggs disclosed “I’ve been communicating with REDACTED the leader.” Almost certainly that is Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys. Meggs disclosed that “we have orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.” And in at least two Facebook messages, Meggs described a single envelopment attack with 2 attacking forces on 2 transients—one force coming off the other in a surprise attack from the rear.

The communications with Tarrio that Meggs disclosed probably occurred in face-to-face meetings in Florida. The FBI has not disclosed Meggs’ travel during December. We know Meggs did security for Roger Stone on December 13 in Florida. Nor is it clear where Tarrio was during the entire month of December. Nor is it clear when Meggs and Tarrio came into direct contact, if they did.

The Department of Justice’s court filings also revealed that the upper leadership of the Proud Boys—a new secret cell called MOSD consisted of 6 members, including Tarrio—knew that Tarrio was going to be arrested on January 4 before he was arrested. Thus, the communications in Table 6 about needing to “nuke” their old Telegram channels, that Tarrio’s phone was probably compromised, and the scramble to devise a new plan were all political theater, maskirovka, a deception intended to keep the ordinary Proud Boys who showed up in DC “busy” in their lodgings and not out on the streets getting in trouble.

The Department of Justice’s court filing also revealed that members of the MOSD’s upper leadership structure knew as early as December 30 that they were operating from “one operational plan” (pdf)(via EmptyWheel) and that the January 6 attack was “a completely different operation” with “a lot of contingencies” and “teams that are going to be put together.” It is unclear if they knew how much of that “one operational plan” included the Oath Keepers. But, as shown in a previous section, Joseph Biggs did attempt to open the Columbus Doors where the Oath Keepers were waiting on Transient 3.

When the “one operational plan” was supposedly “compromised” on January 4, there is no evidence yet revealed by the FBI and DOJ, that the Proud Boys attempted to contact the Oath Keepers telling them their fears and their need to reformulate the “one operational plan.” Nor did the Oath Keepers apparently attempt to contact the Proud Boys when Tarrio was arrested by the MPD.

One can argue that that is proof that there was no joint plan. Fair enough. I do not think that interpretation is correct.

The government has disclosed that it has provided Ethan Nordean’s defense counsel with “over 1.3 million” Telegram messages in 1,172 message strings running “over 204,000 pages when printed in .pdf format.” That total does not include “images, audio, or video files that are associated with the message strings.”

The FBI/DOJ has only disclosed a miniscule portion of the evidence it has against the Proud Boys. It has not disclosed all the evidence it has already collected against the Oath Keepers.

The proof will eventually come to light.

I think the interpretation of the evidence provided in this section of the intelligence analysis demonstrates that the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys executed a joint operational plan. Previous sections have argued that they coordinated during the attack via a joint Tactical Operations Center.

Eventually we will know which explanatory model was correct: the Immaculate Insurrection, the Parallel and Interlocking Conspiracy model, or the Three Transient Joint Attack model.


We know from the government’s March 23, 2021, filing in opposition to Kelly Meggs’ release from pre-trial detention (via EmptyWheel) that Meggs stated on December 19, 2020, in a Facebook message to a presumably to a very trusted person, that “this week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys (pdf). We have decided to work together and shut this shit down” [emphasis added].

“This week” is rather broad. December 19 was a Saturday, so this “alliance” and “working relationship” could have been finalized between 13 and 19 December. But that does not mean that the talks leading to that alliance also began during that week. They could have begun earlier.

On December 25, 2020, again on Facebook and presumably with a very trusted person, Meggs disclosed considerable operational details in his disclosure of his own future actions: “You can hang with us we will probably be guarding REDACTED or someone during the day but then at night we have orchestrated a plan with the proud boys. I’ve been communicating with REDACTED the leader” [emphasis added].

Marcy Wheeler is almost certainly correct that in Meggs’ Christmas Day disclosure “Meggs specifically tied protection, almost certainly of Stone, and coordination with a Proud Boy, almost certainly Tarrio, in the same text.”

Wheeler apparently interpreted “orchestrated a plan” to mean “coordination” in her article. But the word “orchestrated” is not coordination. It is not until after she quoted the former U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C.’s 60 Minutes interview did she write several paragraphs later that the “Oath Keepers had a plan—which DOJ has now presented evidence they coordinated with two other militia groups. But the plan wasn’t limited to preventing vote certification…. The plan was insurrection” [emphasis added].

Again, Wheeler has interpreted “orchestrated” to mean “coordinated.” Meggs did not say Oath Keepers had coordinated a plan. He disclosed to a presumably very trusted person that Oath Keepers had “orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.” Regarding the III%ers, they are part of an “alliance” and working “together,” but Meggs did not say Oath Keepers had “orchestrated” a plan with the Florida III%ers.

The online Cambridge Dictionary gives three definitions of orchestrate that go well beyond coordination. In a music context, to orchestrate is “to arrange or write a piece of music so that it can be played by an orchestra.” In other words, it is a finished product ready to be performed. In intermediate English, it is defined as “to plan and organize something carefully and sometimes secretly in order to achieve a desired result.” In business English it is defined as “to organize something complicated, in a very careful and sometimes secret way, especially in order to get an advantage for yourself.”

In other words, if the Oath Keepers had “orchestrated a plan with the proud boys,” the final product was a plan; a secret plan; a secret plan to “achieve a desired result.” Meggs is disclosing details of him personally organizing an alliance with the Proud Boys; communicating with the leader of Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio; and other Oath Keepers, but not necessarily he alone, having “orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.”

But, even if Meggs misspoke and used the word “orchestrate” to mean “coordinate,” what was coordinated via one or more communications with the national leader of Proud Boys was “a plan.” Even in the sense of strict “coordination,” per Wheeler’s view, it is not clear that Wheeler’s interpretation is correct.

In Wheeler’s March 24, 2021, article discussing the Meggs disclosures, she suggested that Meggs “was also thinking about coordinated action among the different militia.” That is not correct. Meggs did not saying he was “thinking about coordinated action among the different militia.” He disclosed that Oath Keepers had “orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.” Wheeler’s interpretation amounts to Meggs daydreaming or contemplating.

Five days earlier in a March 19, 2021, article Wheeler stated that there were “for all intents and purposes, now-intersecting conspiracies.” This was based on her interpretation that the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys had the “common use of the Zello application” and that Biggs and other Proud Boys entered through the Columbus Doors on Transient 3 “in front of a group of individuals affiliated with the Oath Keepers.”

Wheeler’s latter statement is “intersecting” by virtue of serendipity, of a closeness in terms of time-space coordinates between Biggs and the Oath Keepers. I argued in a previous section that Biggs’ movement was part of the joint plan. I argued that the Oath Keepers deployment at the Columbus Doors made no sense unless it was part of a coordinated plan.

But Wheeler’s statement that the “common use of the Zello application” makes for “intersecting conspiracies” is probably wrong as well. To be intersecting on the Zello application the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers would have to be on the same channel. We have no evidence that they were. But, if they were on the same Zello channel, as Wheeler’s analysis hints at, then that  significantly strengthens the case for the Single Envelopment Three Transient Attack model.

But, if the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys did share a common Zello channel, then Wheeler’s analysis is more consistent with the Three Transient Joint Attack model than what Wheeler calls “Five Now-Intersecting January 6 Militia Conspiracies.” In fact, she is now up to six interlocking conspiracies.

The evidence we do have regarding Jessica Watkins’ use of Zello, discussed in the previous section, demonstrates that a good portion of that communication chatter was maskirovka, a deception. Between 1415H and 1440H when the Oath Keepers came through the Columbus Doors is all deception on Watkins’ Zello chatter to mask the actual location of the Oath Keepers.

But there are not six conspiracies—there is one conspiracy. At most two.

In terms of a military operation, the “orchestrated plan” was almost certainly to attack the Capitol and “shut this shit down.” On December 26, in the same March 23 filing, Meggs told a person on Facebook: “Trump’s staying in, he’s Gonna use the emergency broadcast system on cell phones to broadcast to the American people. Then he will claim the insurrection act…. Then wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection.”

Invoking the Insurrection Act had been proposed or suggested in mid-December by both by Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and retired General Michael Flynn.

A timeline of events at the Just Security website cited a statement by General Flynn on December 17 that the military could “rerun an election in each of those [contested] states.” Flynn’s statement, the researchers wrote, “sparks concerns that President Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act.” A week earlier, at the December “Stop The Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., the New York Times reported that “Rhodes called on Mr. Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, suggesting that a failure to do so would result in a “‘much more bloody war.’”

The Washington Post reported that as late as January 4, 2021, “some D.C. lawmakers have another worry: whether a chaotic event could provide an opening for Trump to follow through on a threat made in June by then-Attorney General William P. Barr to seize control of the D.C. police force, or to invoke the Insurrection Act, bringing active-duty military into the nation’s capital.”


There is a distinction between Marcy Wheeler’s legal analysis and the intelligence analysis here.

Marcy Wheeler has twice argued that the Department of Justice needs to expand the conspiracy charge to include insurrection.

In a March 12 article, Wheeler reported that in a hearing regarding Oath Keeper Caldwell, Caldwell’s lawyer in his filing had claimed there was no pre-meditated plan. There are two problems with Caldwell’s lawyer’s analysis and the government’s response.

One, Caldwell was not a member of Oath Keepers, there is no mention of him participating in any Oath Keepers planning sessions on Go To Meetings or Signal, and he never entered the Capitol building. Thus, whatever Caldwell’s role before and during the attack, he was in no position to have first-hand knowledge of any Oath Keeper plan. In fact, it appears that even Jessica Watkins kept Caldwell in the dark.

Two, the government’s response to Caldwell’s lawyers claims in his filing and court presentation suggest that at least one Department of Justice prosecutor believes in the “Immaculate Insurrection” model—a model that is simply preposterous.

In his filing, Caldwell’s lawyer asked the court (pdf) (via EmptyWheel): “Doesn’t the Court find it odd that the Government hasn’t outlined the specifics of the premeditated plan? What time was the ‘invasion’ scheduled to begin? Who would lead the attack? What was the goal once the planners entered the Capitol? Who was the leader of the attack? What was the exit strategy of the planners?.... The Government’s ‘evidence’ consists almost entirely of their dubious interpretations of social media posts, text messages, and the like.”

Wheeler reported U.S. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy’s verbal response to the Court. Rakoczy’s response appears to embrace the “Immaculate Insurrection” model which not only runs contrary to numerous later government filings on planning by the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, but also this intelligence analysis which shows that it was a sophisticated single envelopment attack by two main attacking forces along three transients. According to AUSA Rakoczy, the entire attack appears to happen by magic. If not magic, then Rakoczy assumed that a mob of unconnected individuals had the “finger feel” to know precisely when and where to attack:

“In response to Judge Mehta’s questions about this claim, AUSA Kathryn Rakoczy conceded that the alleged co-conspirators didn’t have hard and fast plans as to what would happen before the event. This was a plan made of ‘possibilities,’ which included the possibility (the facetious excuse offered by Caldwell) that other groups would resort to violence if Vice President Pence threw out the vote and the Oath Keepers would have to respond with force, or that President Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act and the Oath Keepers would come in to institute martial law. As Rakoczy described, they were ‘watching and waiting to see what leadership did’ to achieve the goal of preventing the vote count, which goal the ‘government submits was unlawful and corrupt’” [emphasis added].


Wheeler’s critique of Rakoczy’s presentation suggested that the Department of Justice had to expand the charges to insurrection because the attack went beyond attacking the Capitol to shut down the Electoral College vote count. Wheeler argued:

“The focus—Caldwell’s, as well as those who actually did storm the Capitol—was all on Congress, because that was the next event in question…. The ultimate goal was to ensure that Trump would remain President, via whatever means. And as Rakoczy acknowledged, one possibility that co-conspirators Kelly Meggs and Jessica Watkins believed might happen was that Trump would declare martial law, and the Oath Keepers would become the glorious army to save their fantastic dreams. That would have had the effect of preventing the certification of the electoral vote, but it would have (if successful) been a more direct route to the actual goal of the conspiracy: to keep Trump in power and prevent the lawfully elected President from taking over. That’s why Fischer’s ploy worked: because all the planning wasn’t primarily about the Capitol. It was primarily about Trump.


The real goal, after all, was to overthrow the democratic system, and impeding the vote count was just one means to achieve that conspiracy. The conspiring that started even before the election was about overthrowing democracy, not just January 6.


But one reason it worked is because the real goal of the conspiracy—the one that Caldwell’s lawyer all but conceded to today—was to do whatever it took to prevent the lawfully elected President from taking power.”


Five days later on March 8, AUSA Rakoczy supplemented by two trial attorneys from the National Security Division filed a rebuttal to Caldwell’s attorney’s filing and presentation (pdf) (via Washington Post). While they did not claim the existence of a “hard and fast” plan, they argued that future disclosures of Signal chats among Oath Keepers leaders would demonstrate that they were planning to go to Washington, D.C. and employ force to obstruct Congress performing its constitutional duty:

“Evidence that the government will disclose to the defense this week—a Signal chat called ‘DC OP: Jan 6 21’—shows that individuals, including those alleged to have conspired with the defendant [Caldwell], were actively planning to use force and violence…. The chat discusses members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers coming to Washington, D.C., for the events of January 5-6, 2021, to provide security to speakers and VIPs at the events. There is no discussion of forcibly entering the Capitol until January 6, 2021.”


The government’s rebuttal also seemingly took inadvertent aim at Wheeler’s analysis. The DOJ’s three lawyers argued:

“These statements and messages all show that the co-conspirators joined together to stop Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote, and they were prepared to use violence, if necessary, to effect this purpose. It does not matter whether they 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.”


Wheeler’s March 24 discussion of the evidence up to the government’s March 23 filing against Kelly Meggs included her argument that the DOJ’s obstruction of Congress charge was too narrow and need to be expanded:

“There’s still a problem with this conspiracy, as constructed. The Oath Keepers had a plan—which DOJ has now presented evidence they coordinated with two other militia groups. But the plan wasn’t limited to preventing vote certification (in part, because when they traveled to DC, they still believed that Trump or Mike Pence might make such an action unnecessary). The plan was insurrection. But that only makes it more likely DOJ will be forced to charge it as such.”

Whether or not the Department of Justice expands the charges to include insurrection is beyond my expertise and the scope of this paper. But the preceding analysis shows how dangerously close a possibly overworked US Attorneys Office in Washington, D.C., can come to embracing the absurd “Immaculate Insurrection” model.

The analysis below, based on DOJ filings for the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, plus media reports, shows that the idea that the Oath Keepers were simply “‘watching and waiting to see what leadership did’ to achieve the goal of preventing the vote count,” as AUSA Rakoczy originally claimed in court, is contradicted by the number and frequency of planning sessions—not to mention Meggs’ own admission on Facebook to a presumably very trusted person that Meggs had “‘organized an alliance’” and that Oath Keepers had “‘orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.’”


The first time in a Facebook message on December 22, 2020, he was vague as to the target. The second time in Facebook message on December 25, the target was Antifa. But attacking Antifa on January 6 makes absolutely no sense. How would that stop the count of the Electoral College vote in Congress?

In the March 23 government filing, Meggs described a single envelopment attack on December 22 this way: “I figure we could splinter off the main group of PB [Proud Boys] (pdf) and come up behind them. Fucking crush them for good…. We can hang for a while they’ll see one group then we all fall to back of the pack and peel off. We catch them in the over.”

In the same March 23 filing and in the same Facebook message Marcy Wheeler highlighted, Meggs described a single envelopment attack against Antifa: “We are gonna March with them for a while then fall back to the back of the crowd and turn off. Then we will have the proud boys get in front of them the cops will get between antifa and proud boys. We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them[.]”

Bear in mind that Kelly Meggs has no military background. And Meggs has only said that “I organized an alliance” but “we orchestrated a plan.”


The biggest intelligence gaps in this analysis of the “alliance” and “plan” between Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are: who vouched for Kelly Meggs, a non-military person with no personal security experience, to become a bodyguard to Roger Stone? When did this vetting person come into Stone’s security circle? When did other Oath Keepers come into Roger Stone’s security circle? Who were the Oath Keepers providing security for Stone during November, December, and January? When did Meggs specifically conclude an alliance with the Proud Boys and Florida III%ers? Which Oath Keepers devised the plan that was shared with the Proud Boys and when and how was that plan shared? When did the Proud Boys accept the plan? Who from the Proud Boys participated in the development of the plan?

We do not know how the MOSD leaders task-organized the Proud Boys members for the assault; we do not know who the leaders of these task-groups were; we do not know how many real operators within the MOSD compartmented cell had critical tasks to accomplish inside the Capitol building; and we do not have a full disclosure of all the communications from New MOSD and BOTG on January 6.

The biggest intelligence gap is finding the hard copy of the plan or plans.


There is photographic evidence that Connie Meggs and Graydon Young provided security for Roger Stone at a “Stop The Steal” event in Tampa, Florida on December 14, according to a Mother Jones report. There is photographic evidence indicating that Kelly Meggs provided security to Roger Stone at Stone’s house on December 13, according to a Washington Post report. When Stone was asked by the Post about the Oath Keepers providing security on January 5, Stone responded they had done so at “‘three previous rallies in Miami and Tampa.’”

There is also photographic evidence that Oath Keeper Roberto Minuta provided security to retired General Michael Flynn in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2020, at a “Stop The Steal” rally, according to the Daily Beast. The Daily Beast also reported photographic evidence taken by Getty Images and UPI on November 14, 2020, in Washington, D.C. showing “Minuta is visible as part of an escort for [Alex] Jones alongside reported members of the Proud Boys as he heads towards the Supreme Court.” The Getty photograph shows Minuta with Alex Jones. The UPI photograph is unavailable for viewing.

About one week after the December 12 MAGA “Stop The Steal” rally, Enrique Tarrio tweeted a picture of Dominic Pezzola and Roberto Minuta dramatically framed by Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages amidst background flames as the “Lords of War” (see Picture 32 below). Roberto Minuta replied to Enrique Tarrio’s tweet: “Bad ass! Thanks @NobleLead for the picture! Honor to stand with you guys. See you Jan 6[.]”

And the New York Times tracked six of Roger Stone’s Oath Keepers who provided for security for him on January 5 in Washington, D.C. to the January 6 insurrection, including Joshua James, Roberto Minuta, others still unidentified, and Kelly Meggs, the latter according to Mother Jones.


During 2020, the Oath Keepers made three major strategic pivots, according to a Stanford study of the group: opposition to pandemic restrictions, reacting to Black Lives Matter protests, and supporting Trump’s “Stop The Steal” efforts to overthrow the presidential election.

By April 2020, the Oath Keepers, like many other right-wing groups went from supporting pandemic restrictions to “full-throated opposition to COVID-19 lockdowns (page 10).” Jason Wilson of The Guardian reported that many of the MAGA rallies against the pandemic restrictions were “also supported by street-fighting rightwing groups like the Proud Boys, conservative armed militia groups, religious fundamentalists, anti-vaccination groups and other elements of the radical right.”

The Stanford study noted (page 10) that during the summer “Rhodes organized teams of OK [Oath Keepers] militants to guard businesses as protests against police brutality surged in 2020.” Watkins’ Ohio State Regular Militia had undertaken patrols in Ohio and Kentucky and participated in “a major OK operation in Louisville. In late September 2020, about 20 Oath Keepers mobilized to provide security for Louisville businesses during Black Lives Matter protests following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor…”

During the fall of 2020, Oath Keepers did not have much presence until its participation in the November 14 “Million MAGA March” joining the MAGA crowd as well as the Proud Boys and III%ers, according to the Stanford study (page 11). At that rally, Rhodes declared that Biden was an illegitimate president and “Rhodes urged then-President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law to prevent Biden from taking office.” The study noted that “If Trump chose not to do so, Rhodes threatened that Oath Keepers would be forced to act, triggering a ‘much more bloody war.’”

Table 3 (below) shows what may be the normal operational tempo of Oath Keepers at weekly and state Go To Meeting calls. But we may have a biased view of this operational tempo due to selecting on the dependent variable.

The FBI included the four Florida Oath Keepers calls on Go To Meeting (GTM) because the indicted Oath Keeper Kenneth Harrelson was a participant, usually using his real name before the November election and his call signs (Gator6, Hotel6) afterwards. The national October 29 GTM call was reported by the Vice website and was based on a leaked audio of the call.

Vice reported Jessica Watkins confirming that she had interacted with Stewart Rhodes in Louisville in late September.

The Washington Post confirmed that Kenneth Harrelson was also in Louisville. The Post report also described the head of the Louisville Oath Keeper contingent as a black “former Indianapolis police officer” and veteran named “Mike” and nicknamed “‘Whip.’” The WAVE3 television station in Louisville, Kentucky also confirmed that the Oath Keepers’ tactical leader was a “former police officer and military veteran from Indiana.” In April 2021, Rhodes described PERSON TEN to the Washington Post as “a former Army explosives expert and Blackwater contractor nicknamed ‘Whip’ as the on-the-ground team leader.”

Ken Bensinger, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, reported on Twitter that he had identified Kelly Meggs also being in Louisville, thus joining Rhodes, Person Ten, Watkins, and Harrelson—the core members, but not the only core members of the January 6 attack—present in Louisville in late September.

Well before the official launch of the “Stop The Steal” effort on election night by Donald Trump and organizationally by Amy Kremer, Rhodes displayed an insurrectionist and murderous mindset near the end of September 2020.

Betsy Quammen, author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West, reported that in mid-October both Stewart Rhodes and Richard Mack spoke at the “Red Pill Expo.” Quammen reported that both men “made cases for the need to step up and assist a government in distress or to rise up against a government that they deem illegitimate.” The Southern Poverty Law Center called the “Red Pill Expo” a “who’s who of conspiracy theorists” and noted that Oath Keepers had recently begun treating QAnon “Q drops” as “news.”

Media Matters reported that in late October Rhodes had called into Alex Jones’s InfoWars show advocating that Trump “invoke the Insurrection Act before the election.” Rhodes told Jones that Oath Keepers “is ‘concerned about a Benghazi-style attack’ on election night against the White House and that some of his ‘best men’ will be ‘posted outside of D.C.’ and ‘within range.’” Rhodes claimed that Oath Keepers and other right-wing forces were fighting on the streets of the West Coast a combined force of “‘bought’ Democrats and ‘leftists’ on the West Coast…in a proxy war being waged by China against the U.S.”

Rhodes’ comment on Trump invoking the Insurrection Act appears to echo an earlier call by Roger Stone into the Alex Jones InfoWars show in mid-September. Stone told Jones that “Trump should consider invoking the Insurrection Act and arresting the Clintons, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Zuckerberg, Tim Cook of Apple and ‘anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity.’”

One potential reason why various Oath Keepers were able to gain entrée into Stone’s inner circle of security was because Rhodes and Stone had the same viewpoint towards Trump invoking the Insurrection Act and a similar view on the potential for a racial civil war in America.

The other interesting aspects of Table 3 concerns Kelly Meggs. In July, he agreed to pay $85 per month for 14 months to purchase a lifetime Oath Keepers membership for him and his wife. Meggs has no military experience. That suggests that he is a true believer. But that lifetime purchase probably caught Rhodes’ attention and put Meggs in a different category of Oath Keepers members.

In September and October 2020, Meggs and Harrelson attended “gunfight training” using AR-15s at a Florida company run by Andrew Smrecek. Within 3 days of his first “gunfight training,” Meggs showed up in Louisville for a major Oath Keepers operation. In Louisville, Meggs met Rhodes. Both Meggs and Smrecek provided security to Roger Stone in December in Florida—suggesting that perhaps Smrecek and/or Rhodes had some role in vetting and recommending Meggs to Stone.

In the tables below, green is for the Oath Keepers; blue is Trump-related; and red is for the Proud Boys. The sources in parentheses also provide links.



The month of November 2020 sees a significant increase in the operational tempo of Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers have only one major “operation” during the month: the “Million MAGA March” in Washington, D.C. on November 14, sponsored by Trump campaign surrogate Women For America First headed by Amy Kremer. The Oath Keepers operation would consist of a parade for visibility, a VIP Security detail, and a Quick Reaction Force (QRF). What should be clear is that the QRF is a national level asset, that is, an element answerable to Rhodes.

The rally would bring together the MAGA mob, Proud Boys, III%ers, other militias, and Oath Keepers.

As Table 4 shows, the Oath Keepers held 6 or 7 national Go To Meetings between November 6 and November 14, missing only November 9 and 11. On November 13, Rhodes is on a call that may be a national GTM call. The Florida Oath Keepers apparently held one Go To Meeting, but this could be a bias of selecting on the dependent variable: the presence or absence of Meggs and/or Harrelson. After the November MAGA march the Meggs and/or Harrelson participate in only 3 Florida or National Oath Keepers Go To Meetings.

Unmentioned by Unicorn Riot in their release of Oath Keepers’ Rocket Chat texts or the leaked Go To Meeting is how Rhodes conducts himself. Rhodes comes into an ongoing meeting, blasts into transmit mode, and leaves the meeting. He does not solicit questions. He is not asked questions. The Big Leader has spoken and that is the end of the matter. He takes positions on behalf of all Oath Keepers without any discussion.

This can be seen in Table 4 with the Quick Reaction Force for the November 14 operation.

On November 5, call sign “SamTX” announced in the private members-only Rocket Chat that “Stuart Rhodes was either speaking to Mike Adams or David Knight saying you can contact him to get vetted for QRFs that might go to DC.” SamTX on the same day also stated, “If you have the background and training, contact Stuart for being a part of the QRFs that might need to go to DC to act in accordance with the law to help stop rioters or people trying to overthrow the government.”

On November 7, SamTX provided a summary of an unspecified interview Rhodes had the day before in which Rhodes stated “Trump should declare an insurrection to suppress the communist insurrection, should declas [declassify] all the dirty secrets…. Call the militia up so we can go round up all the traitors with arrests and bring them to trial. Operation planned to start staging outside DC to prevent a Benghazi style storming on White House by left[.] Men won’t go in to defend the White House unless called up by President…. To stop Benghazi in D.C., Need men who are prior infantry, combat arms, medics, dog handlers, former LEO, etc.”

None of this announcement elicited much discussion or questions from those on the chat. It is unclear what effect Rhodes’ announcement that the Oath Keepers were going to overthrow the federal government had on the membership.

On November 10, Rhodes published on the Oath Keepers national blog a call for vetted volunteers to join a Quick Reaction Force for D.C. Rhodes stated, “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. (such as a ‘Benghazi’ style assault on the White House by communist terrorists, in conjunction with stand-down orders by traitor generals).”

On November 12, SamTX relayed on Rocket Chat Rhodes’ advocacy of insurrection: “‘This needs to be our version of the color revolution and we should focus on sustaining DC with replacement waves until our president is lawfully declared president again for a second term,’” according to the DFR Lab timeline. This is clearly a call for insurrection and overthrowing the federal government.

The FBI does not report the substance of the Go To Meeting calls it lists the Oath Keepers had in November. But, the leaked Rocket Chats, the interviews Rhodes gave, and his posts on the Oath Keepers’ national blog make it clear that Rhodes’ intent, and almost certainly the intent of Oath Keepers that would show up on January 6, was insurrection.

The Rocket Chats also revealed that Roberto Minuta admitted he would be in D.C. on November 14.



Overall, Meggs and/or Harrison are involved in 15 Go To Meeting calls during December 2020 (see Table 5). The FBI reported a higher number of GTM calls, but many of those are either duplicates or of such short duration that they can hardly count as a call. Meggs, for example, is the organizer of 3 GTM calls that last 0.23 seconds (12/11), 2.57 minutes (12/11), and 0.55 seconds (01/02). The two calls on 12/11 have the same name, “osint and securing online intel.”

The pattern of National, Florida, and DC calls during December 2020 (see Table 5 below) reveals an interesting pattern, particularly for Kelly Meggs.

The FBI reported that on December 25 in a Facebook message Meggs announced that he had been appointed head of the Florida chapter of Oath Keepers. On December 19, Meggs revealed that “I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this shit down.” Meggs apparently tells another or the same presumably trusted person on December 22, “Plus we have made Contact with PB and they always have a big group. Force multiplier[.]” On December 25, Meggs reveals to a presumably very trusted person, “…we have orchestrated a plan with the proud boys. I’ve been communicating with REDACTED the leader.” The redacted name is undoubtedly Enrique Tarrio.

That is quite an accomplishment for Meggs and the Oath Keepers.

Now consider the 11 Go To Meeting calls Meggs apparently missed during December 2020: 12/1, OK Florida call; 12/1, New Meeting; 12/3, Warrior Wednesday; 12/8, OK Florida call; 12/10, Fitness and Health; 12/15, OK Florida call; 12/17, Warrior Wednesday; 12/19, Friday Free For All; 12/22, Monday Night Call; 12/29, OK Florida call; and 12/31, Florida DC Op Call.

Meggs only participated in 5 GTM calls in December: 12/5, Friday Free For All; 12/12, OSINT and Securing Online Intel; 12/12, Miami Review and Positions; 12/23, DC Discussion and CPT Teams; and 12/31, SE Leaders DC Op Call. Meggs missed many calls but still organizes the 12/23 and 12/31 GTM calls related to the DC Operation. Not bad for a guy seemingly out of the loop. And the 3 GTM calls he organized or co-organized with Harrelson happen on or before the December 12 “Stop The Steal” rally in DC.

Moreover, before the January 6 attack it is obvious that Meggs has a very trusted role in Oath Keepers. Neither Watkins nor Harrelson knew the location of the Quick Reaction Force hotel in the DC area, according to Signal communications on January 4 and 5, 2021. Meggs knows (pdf) (via Politico). Indeed, according to a government filing for Joshua James, Meggs sent messages to unspecified others before January 5-6, 2021, stating that “the Oath Keepers would be providing security for speakers and VIPs at the events in Washington, D.C., on these dates.” Meggs exchanged three phone calls with Joshua James on December 26, 30, and 31 (pdf) (via Politico).

There are many reasons for Meggs to miss so many calls in December. But, to miss so many calls in December and be elevated to head the Florida Oath Keepers chapter, and to organize GTM calls on the January attack, and to know the location of QRF hotel, suggests that between December 1 and December 19, 2020, Meggs was conducting some special business for Oath Keepers.

There were four highly probable outcomes of Meggs’ apparent special business: an alliance with the national Proud Boys via discussions with Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud Boys; the “orchestration of a plan with” the Proud Boys via discussions with Tarrio; Oath Keepers being added to Roger Stone’s inner protection detail in December and January; and Meggs’ promotion to head of the Oath Keepers chapter in Florida.

We do not know how the Oath Keepers became involved in providing security for Roger Stone.

Meggs absences from the GTM calls suggests that the real planning either happened online on a platform the FBI is not aware of, or has not revealed, or, much more likely, the actual planning or “orchestration” occurred in face-to-face meetings probably in Florida. The various “DC OP” calls on GTM were probably for internal Oath Keepers discussions and coordination, such as sharing OSINT (Open Source) intelligence and logistics. If there were planning discussions on GTM, they may have been limited to refinements or discussions of tasks.

But Meggs’ absence from most GTM calls in December suggests that the actual attack planning occurred in some other venue or on some other platform.

The other interesting pattern concerns calls with a designated day name in their name. For example, all calls with “Monday” in their name by date fall on Tuesday (12/22 and 12/29); all calls with “Wednesday” in their name by date fall on Thursday (12/3 and 12/17); and all calls with “Friday” in their name by date fall on Saturday (12/5 and 12/19). All those calls were organized by Kenneth Harrelson.

There is another pattern of interaction in December between Oath Keepers and Proud Boys in December. We know that Roberto Minuta and Dominic Pezzola were together in DC during the evening of the rally. They were photographed together. One week later, presumably on December 19, Tarrio tweeted out their iconic picture with the caption “Lords of War.” Minuta responded, “See you Jan 6” (see Table 5), according to New York Times reporter Christiian Triebert.

The photographer who took that iconic picture of Pezzola and Minuta, Evy Mages for the Washingtonian, also captured Minuta providing security for retired General Michael Flynn. What discussions, if any, did Minuta have with Flynn? Did Flynn introduce Minuta to Roger Stone?

If Minuta and Pezzola could hang out in December after dark, is it possible that Rhodes and Tarrio shared a grip-and-grin, meet-and-greet moment in DC? Rhodes had exempted the Proud Boys from his “no-go” list of white nationalists and neo-Nazis that he would not cooperate with. Moreover, it was obvious in the mainstream media that the Proud Boys were much closer to the Trump administration or campaign via Roger Stone or via Project Veritas, and becoming the Republican Party’s militant wing than the Oath Keepers. Tarrio’s Proud Boys in Miami attacked Speaker Pelosi during her visit to Miami in 2018. The attack was linked to Miami GOP chairman Nelson Diaz. Tarrio, for example, had been the Florida director of Latinos For Trump.

Bruce Wilson has followed the Trump campaign’s links to the Patriot sphere via Sam Bushman for a few years. His analysis suggests that Oath Keepers may be closer to the Trump White House and campaign. Bushman is vice president of Mack’s Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the host of Liberty Roundtable, an internet radio show. Wilson suggested in January 2020, when the Trump campaign and the militias were stirring up trouble over gun rights legislation in Virginia, that “All of which is to suggest that we cannot assume there is no coordination between the Trump administration & the conjoined CSPOA & Oath Keepers. Communication could be opened as easily as a text from Bushman to Donald Trump, Jr.”

What is also interesting about the Proud Boys in Table 5 is that Ethan Nordean, who would lead the Proud Boys attack on January 6 because Enrique Tarrio was arrested on January 4, started requesting donations of tactical equipment and cash on December 19, coincidentally the same day Meggs shared on Facebook that he had organized “an alliance” with the Proud Boys via Enrique Tarrio. It is also the same day (or close to it) that Tarrio tweeted out a picture of Pezzola and Minuta as the “Lords of War” and Minuta responding, “See you Jan 6[.]” Zachary Rehl, president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia, does not start raising funds until December 30—perhaps reflecting the much lower costs of a trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

That could all be a coincidence, but it is an interesting series of coincidences.


Aside from Enrique Tarrio knowing Roberto Minuta of Oath Keepers, it is an almost comical effort by Ethan Nordean and a few other indicted Proud Boys who suggested that Dominic Pezzola shown in Picture 32 was not a member of the Proud Boys.

On page 6 in footnote 6 of Nordean’s response to the government’s May 13, 2021, filing, Nordean’s lawyer offers this analysis: “Why does one member know what Pezzola ‘claims’? Because Pezzola appeared at one or two rallies prior to January 6 in an attempt to ingratiate himself. He was not, and is not, a member of the organization, much less a co-conspirator here. The government knows all of this” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel).

I trust the government will show Nordean’s lawyer Tarrio’s tweet calling Pezzola and Minuta the “Lords of War.” By the way, Minuta was wearing a Proud Boys shirt in the photograph.



The one interesting aspect in Table 6 concerns Kelly Meggs. On January 4, Meggs announced in a Signal chat that Harrelson “runs the ground team” and two unidentified persons will assist, especially when the Oath Keepers are moving. State leaders were to take direction from Harrelson (Gator6).

However, on January 4, Rhodes (Person One) countermands Meggs’ statement. Rhodes “named PERSON TEN to be the leader of his group’s operations…on January 6.”

The other notable aspect in Table 6 is that Meggs knows the location of the Quick Reaction Force hotel and neither Watkins nor Harrelson do. This suggests that Rhodes places a high degree of trust and confidence in Meggs.



In the government’s May 13 response to Nordean’s motion, the government stated that on December 29 (pdf) (via EmptyWheel), the national leader of the Proud Boys created an “‘upper tier leadership’” structure called the Ministry of Self-Defense or MOSD. This secret leadership cell included an ‘upper tier leadership’ of six people, which included Proud Boys Chairman [Enrique Tarrio], Nordean, Biggs, and Rehl” and undoubtedly Donohoe. Donohoe later that evening “explained that the MOSD was a ‘special chapter’ within the organization.” An additional member of the leadership structure appears to be Pezzola, according to the government filing. However the government’s claim that Pezzola was a member of MOSD is disputed by Nordean’s lawyers.

It is important to note that the “upper leadership structure” of the Proud Boys named “MOSD” operated as a very opaque inner leadership group that was smaller than the encrypted Telegram “New MOSD” channel (pdf) (via EmptyWheel). The New MOSD Telegram channel included Nordean, Biggs, Rehl, Donohoe, “and a handful of additional members.” Four plus “a handful” suggests 9 total members in Telegram channel, but only 6 in the leadership structure. It is confusing on paper. It may have been confusing during the operation. Those additional members in the New MOSD Telegram channel included Unindicted Co-Conspirator-1 and Person-2, both of whom were located off the Capitol grounds in the Proud Boys’ Tactical Operations Center.

Probably adding to the confusion of the Proud Boys operation was the reported finding that the “‘special chapter’ was not to have any interaction with other Proud Boys attending the event. Other Proud Boys attending the event were to coordinate with their own chapters and ‘do whatever you guys want’” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel). In a footnote, the government indicated that it was still investigating this “do your own thing” part of the operational plan.

If this “do your own thing” claim is true, it would illuminate why the Proud Boys attack after it breached the Capitol building using Transient 2 fell apart. But it does not negate the analysis of the failure of Biggs to open the Columbus Doors so that Oath Keepers and the rest of Transient 3 could enter the building. Nor does this “do whatever you guys want” attitude regarding the ordinary Proud Boys members explain why Pezzola headed towards the Senate Chamber and followed the QAnon adherent who was following Officer Goodman. Pezzola’s failure to enter the Senate Chamber while it was in session with Vice President Pence presiding was a catastrophic failure for the joint Proud Boys-Oath Keepers attack.

The December 29 explanation of the leadership structure and purpose of the MOSD was to create a level of operational security that most of the Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. or on any Telegram channel would not be aware of. They would not know that Tarrio had created a “special chapter” within the Proud Boys that included only 6 members. Proud Boys members could not leak a plan they did not know existed. It is unclear if they would have been aware of the New MOSD Telegram channel and its participants.

What is clear is that the Proud Boys operational plan was very close-hold and only 6 to 9 people knew what the plans, contingencies, and task-groups were.

On December 30, Person-1, who was a member of the MOSD leadership stated on a video call that whatever information members of the MOSD heard, no matter who they heard it from, “‘it’s all information from the same plan…. It’s all one operational plan, so don’t get hung up on the delivery. The information is all the same’” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel).

The FBI interpreted Person-1’s statement to mean there was a “strict chain of command.” But that is not what Person-1 said. What Person-1 stated was that there was only “one operational plan” and any information you get from Nordean, Biggs, Rehl, Donohoe, or Tarrio was the “all the same” information coming from “the same plan.” There was a collective leadership of 6 with one operational plan.

Apparently in the same video call on December 30, Zachary Rehl explained that unlike the November and December events which included night marches, the January event would have no march. Rehl explained, according to the May 13 government filing, that “‘We’re not gonna be doing like a proud boy fuckin’ 8 o’clock march and flexing our [arms] and shit…. We’re doing a completely different operation. And there’s gonna be a lot of contingencies and plans that are laid out. And there’s gonna be teams that are going to be put together’” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel).

On December 31, Tarrio posted a message that there would be a video call on the evening of January 2 that would include “Plans for DC” and “Night plans (no March). Need to keep them busy. Will be discussed Jan 2nd” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel). Tarrio’s message also included a cryptic agenda item: “Montgomery SPLC.” Montgomery, Alabama is the headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center—a building that is a fortress.

The government’s disclosure of evidence regarding the Proud Boys up to May 26, 2021, when this section was finished, indicates that by December 29, 2020, and probably much earlier, the Proud Boys had a single “operational plan” with many “contingencies” and a plan to task-organize the Proud Boys into groups. The government has not disclosed—given how many Telegram messages they extracted from Nordean’s cell phone—when the Proud Boys developed this plan.

After the government disclosed to Nordean’s defense the extent of the Telegram messages extracted from Nordean’s phone, Nordean’s lawyer responded in a follow-up filing: “Had there been a plan to enter the Capitol on January 6 (there was not, as the government likely knows, having reviewed thousands of Telegram pages)…” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel).

What the government has disclosed is Meggs’ revelation that the Oath Keepers had “orchestrated a plan with the proud boys.” The government’s disclosures regarding Proud Boys’ preparations for the January 6 attack are fundraising activities and requests for tactical radios and equipment by Nordean and Rehl.

The operational plan Meggs’ claims the Oath Keepers “orchestrated” with the Proud Boys’ national chairman was probably produced in face-to-face meetings and was probably not put on any encrypted social media application. Tarrio was being extremely careful when he created the MOSD secret leadership cell that rank-and-file Proud Boys members were not privy to. The existence and operation of the MOSD cell was probably compartmented information. Only the 6 Proud Boys included in the MOSD membership had a valid need-to-know. If Tarrio was that concerned with operational security for a membership group, he must have been at least equally conscious of operational security for the development of their joint operational plan with the Oath Keepers. Besides, you could technically draw the plan on the back of a napkin and put in the proposed start times for the three transients to start. You would not need a detailed operational plan—as long as the particular details were thoroughly discussed and agreed to. Maybe for the contingencies and task groups you might need one or two more napkins. But no one would need a 10-page or a 100-page operational plan.

The creation of the MOSD upper leadership structure was one maskirovka [deception] tactic. The second maskirovka tactic was to convince the ordinary members of the Proud Boys who had shown up and perhaps some of other members of the “New MOSD” Telegram channel not included in the MOSD upper leadership structure that Tarrio’s arrest in Washington, D.C. was a surprise and that their plans on his cell phone may have been or soon could be compromised. Thus, there was an effort on January 4, to convince the Proud Boys membership not to discuss any kind of plans and to stay out of trouble.

The May 13 government filing stated that “On January 4, prior to his arrival in Washington, D.C., Proud Boys Chairman communicated his expectation that he would be arrested upon entering Washington, D.C.” (pdf) (via EmptyWheel) [emphasis added].

If Tarrio expected to be arrested upon his arrival in the city and if his cell phone(s) had operational plans and contingencies that had been agreed upon by the upper leadership of the Proud Boys’ MOSD, what is the probability that his phones and the Proud Boys plans could be compromised by the police?

I would guess somewhere close to zero.

Given how many Telegram messages (not counting the attached video, audio, picture files) the government extracted from Nordean’s cell phone, I am speculating that Donohoe did very little, if anything, to “‘nuke’” whatever channel(s) they thought could be compromised.

And if those two conditions are true, those are probably the reasons why there are no apparent communications to the Oath Keepers that their joint plan and contingencies have been compromised. And that is probably why the Oath Keepers do not appear to be concerned that Tarrio has been arrested. The Oath Keepers do not, apparently, reach out to the Proud Boys for any clarifications.

All the communications in Table 7 on the encrypted Telegram channels “New MOSD” and “Boots On The Ground” (BOTG) are all maskirovka meant to deceive the ordinary members and leaders of the Proud Boys (not members of MOSD) in DC and to thwart any leaks of the operational plan. The “New MOSD” Telegram channel is a slightly larger number of participants than the MOSD upper leadership group. The “Boots On The Ground” Telegram channel is for the 60+ Proud Boys members participated in the assault on the Capitol building. They do not have a valid need-to-know anything the existence or the operations of the secret MOSD leadership cell that now includes only Nordean, Biggs, Zehl, Donohoe, and one other unidentified Proud Boy.

And it is probably not too difficult to pull off the deception and keep the Proud Boys members busy. The 60 to 100 Proud Boys are probably spread out across a few hotels. Who is going to be able to disprove whether Biggs and Nordean are together, or they have a group discussing a plan? Who is going to contradict Biggs when he says he has talked to Tarrio about a plan?

If you read the communications in Table 6 in the context of Tarrio telling the MOSD leaders that they “Need to keep them busy” in DC, then the political theater of the compromised phone, the need to “‘nuke’” channels, not to plan anything on their phones, and the scramble to come up with a new plan make sense as maskirovka. The MOSD leadership cell does not reveal any plan to the rank-and-file Proud Boys until the 1000H meeting at the Washington Monument on January 6. The rank-and-file Proud Boys are orientated into the plan during the Reconnaissance March. What Tarrio and the secret MOSD operational cell accomplished was to prevent any Proud Boys member from leaking anything about their plan for January 6.

And it becomes a little clearer that the MOSD leaders, the 6 to 9 Proud Boys leaders, were the real operators on January 6. If the “do your own thing” ethos is true, then the wandering Kansas City team led by Chrestman and the silly Ochs and DeCarlo acting like they are making a media statement, make sense in the context of the MOSD leadership letting the other Proud Boys “‘do whatever you guys want’” while they were the real operators on January 6. That “do your own thing” attitude has not been confirmed.



The data in this section and previous sections of the intelligence analysis demonstrate that the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys developed a joint plan; they executed a joint plan; and some Oath Keepers were probably co-located inside the Proud Boys’ Tactical Operations Center allowing increased coordination during the attack. The MOSD upper leadership cell, a compartmented cell with access to the operational plan with many contingencies and a plan to task-organize the Proud Boys members into groups all point to a pre-planned, pre-coordinated assault—not only the Capitol building—but to overthrow the government and prevent president-elect Biden from taking office on January 20, 2021.

The “Immaculate Insurrection” model favored by lawyers for the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is false.

The “Parallel and Interlocking Conspiracies” presented by the Department of Justice lawyers, developed by the FBI’s investigations, and supported by Marcy Wheeler’s analysis is closer to the truth.

The Single Envelopment Three Transient Attack model, based on joint planning, coordination, and joint execution by the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys is, I argue in this intelligence analysis, even closer to the truth.

Only more disclosed evidence from the FBI and DOJ lawyers will allow us to decide which model fits the data best.

And I agree 100% with Marcy Wheeler and Seth Abramson that the January 6 assault on the Capitol building was part of a much larger conspiracy involving many more people and organizations and reached up to Donald Trump himself. That conspiracy was to overthrow our democratic system of government. That is beyond the scope of this analysis. But the assault on the Capitol building is just the tip of the iceberg.

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