Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection. Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellion, coups, and secession. DOJ has charged the head of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.
Elmer Stewart Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins, Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel, Thomas Caldwell, and Edward Vallejo (collectively, “the defendants”) have been charged by indictment for their participation in a plot to use force to oppose the authority of the Government of the United States and to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of specific laws and provisions of the Constitution of the United States governing the transfer of presidential power.
The government respectfully submits this motion and notice of its intent to introduce certain evidence at trial including: First, evidence that certain co-conspirators traveled toWashington, D.C., in November 2020 and, like for January 6, 2021, organized an armed Quick Reaction Force (“QRF”). Second, evidence that co-conspirator Jeremy Brown transported explosives to the Washington, D.C., area on January 6, 2021. Third, evidence that certain coconspirators including Stewart Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, and Jessica Watkins discussed and prepared for violent conflict with government actors after January 6 and before January 20, demonstrating the co-conspirators’ plan to oppose the lawful transfer of power before Inauguration Day. Fourth, evidence that co-conspirator Jessica Watkins possessed bomb-making instructions during the charged conspiracy as evidence of Watkin’s preparation to use force against the government. And fifth, evidence that co-conspirator Thomas Caldwell possessed a “death list” with the names of Georgia election officials and, later, attempted to have someone build him firearms before January 20, showing Caldwell’s intent to oppose government actors by force to stop the transfer of presidential power.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the public say it is appropriate to describe the incident at the U.S. Capitol as a riot, and half (50%) say it is appropriate to describe it as an insurrection. Both of these numbers, though, are down from a year ago (by 7 points for riot and by 6 points for insurrection). These negative views of Jan. 6 have held relatively steady among Democrats and independents, but have slipped significantly among Republicans. Last year, a clear majority (62%) of Republicans called the incident a riot. Now, less than half (45%) do. Similarly, a third (33%) of Republicans in June 2021 said it was appropriate to describe the incident as an insurrection, but only 13% say the same today.
By comparison, the number of Americans who say it is appropriate to describe the U.S. Capitol incident as a legitimate protest has remained stable over the past year (34% now compared with 33% in June 2021). However, the number of Republicans who see this incident as a legitimate protest has actually risen by 14 points to 61%, at the same time this view has declined among independents (down 6 points to 33%) and remained stable among Democrats (14%).