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Convicted Oath Keeper testifies in third week of seditious conspiracy trial

The third week of the seditious conspiracy trial of five members of the Oath Keepers militia group featured the testimony of Jason Dolan, 46, a former member of the group who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. A member of the Oath Keepers who traveled to Washington before the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol testified during the seditious conspiracy case against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four associates on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, about a massive cache of weapons the far-right extremist group stashed in a Virginia hotel room. [AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta]

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Dolan testified that the far-right paramilitaries came armed to Washington D.C. “to try and stop Congress certifying” President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The Oath Keepers were one of several fascistic militia groups summoned by ex-President Donald Trump and his Republican allies to violently overthrow the government and install Trump as president-dictator.

The close relationship between Trump and the Oath Keepers was further revealed on Wednesday when Dolan admitted that the first time he met fellow Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs, with whom he would go on to storm the Capitol, the two were in Miami for an event with Trump political crony Roger Stone.

On Tuesday, Dolan testified that he was animated by Trump’s lie that the election was stolen.

“I helped coordinate ... and plan” the attack, he said. Asked by Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler if in planning the attack Dolan was “prepared to take up arms against the government,” the 19-year veteran of the US Marine Corps responded, “Yes.”

While Dolan did not meet the founder of the group, Stewart Rhodes, in person until after the attack on January 6, he testified that Rhodes frequently held online meetings and texted the Florida chapter, instilling in them a willingness “to fight back against an illegitimate government and support what we saw as the rightful president against an illegitimate president.”

Last September, Dolan pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding for his actions on January 6. In his plea agreement, Dolan admitted to bringing an M-4 semi-automatic assault rifle with him to Arlington, Virginia.

Dolan is currently facing a five-to-seven-year prison sentence. As part of his plea deal, he has agreed to testify against his former comrades, including Rhodes, Meggs, Jessica Watkins, Thomas Caldwell and Kenneth Harrelson. Harrelson, Meggs and Dolan were all members of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers.

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Nearly every day of the trial has presented damning testimony and facts showing that the violent attack on the Capitol was an armed insurrection that very nearly succeeded. Yet as each day presents new harrowing evidence, Biden and the Democratic Party say less and less about Trump’s January 6 attempt to overthrow the government and the ongoing threat posed by the party’s overwhelming defense of the coup and its increasingly fascistic politics.

Since President Joe Biden delivered his nationally televised speech some six weeks ago at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, declaring that the “Republican Party today is dominated and intimidated by MAGA [Make America Great Again] Republicans,” who do not “respect the Constitution” or “accept the results of a free election,” he has gone silent on the issue.

This silence is even more deafening in the face of Trump’s threats against “US Jews” and QAnon fascist Marjorie Taylor Greene’s invocation of neo-Nazi “Replacement Theory” rhetoric at Trump campaign events around the country.

The silence on the part of Biden and the Democrats is not a mistake. It is a deliberate decision to downplay the fascist rot that has taken hold in the Republican Party, the military, intelligence and police agencies and substantial sections of the ruling class.

Last week Politico, citing data from the ad-tracking firm AdImpact, found that just $2.7 million of the $163 million spent by Democratic House candidates on election advertising had gone to ads noting that a majority of the House Republicans voted against certifying the election after the violent attack on the Capitol.

In 16 “battleground” districts, Politico reported, Democrats have “aired just two dozen spots focused on threats to democracy.”

Meanwhile, in the first two weeks of the Oath Keepers trial, prosecutors presented evidence and testimony, which the Secret Service has confirmed, demonstrating that the agency was in contact with multiple members of the Oath Keepers, including Stewart Rhodes, prior to the attack on Congress.

Following these revelations, on October 14, the January 6 House Select Committee, which is set to dissolve at the end of this year, sent a records request to the Secret Service asking for all communications between the Secret Service and the Oath Keepers. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Gugliemi confirmed the request and said the agency would comply.

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