Subpoenas have been drafted for six Oath Keepers convicted of Jan. 6 crimes, looking for texts, emails, or other records that could show they were coerced by prosecutors to lie in their plea deals, a new court filing said.
Defense attorneys in the Oath Keepers seditious-conspiracy trial underway in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. asked Judge Amit Mehta to sign the subpoenas addressed to Joshua James, Jason Dolan, William Todd Wilson, Caleb Berry, Brian Ulrich, and Mark Grods.
As drafted, the subpoenas seek: “All non-privileged records, to exclude correspondence with your attorneys, your spouse, any medical provider, and any religious and/or spiritual advisors, concerning your guilty plea.”
Attorneys are looking for evidence that these Oath Keepers agreed to the guilty pleas only under coercion by prosecutors, believing that they are actually innocent of the charges that will put them in prison.
“Stewart Rhodes knows these Oath Keepers,” wrote Edward Tarpley, an attorney for Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III. The convicted men “knew the Oath Keepers engaged in no conspiracy, had no plan to commit any crime, and intended to act lawfully at all times.
“And Rhodes knows from knowing them that they must have told friends and family that they were in fact innocent but they had to plead guilty due to the crushing financial burden and other pressures such as incarceration and concern for the needs of their families.”
Tarpley said a big clue to the alleged coercion is the “flip-flops” evident in the plea deals, and the boilerplate language used in the statements of guilt made at the time of the pleas.
“Even after pleading guilty, the witnesses clearly establish their own innocence and the innocence of all of the defendants here, then include scripted statements not in their own ‘voice’ saying the opposite. The after-plea statements are internally inconsistent and self-contradictory.”
Jury selection began Sept. 27 for the trial of Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watson, and Thomas Caldwell. Prosecutors say they seditiously conspired to attack the Capitol with force in order to disrupt counting of Electoral College votes and to keep President Trump in office.