Oath Keepers Leader Charged in Capitol Riot Claims She Met With Secret Service

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According to reports, a leader of the Oath Keepers—a far-right militia group, was charged in connection to the U.S. Capitol riot that left numerous people dead. The woman who was charged claimed she was in D.C. on January 6 to “provide security” during the pro-Trump insurrection and also met with Secret Service agents, according to court documents.

38-year-old Jessica Watkins claims she was allegedly given a “VIP pass” to the rally, according to her attorneys. In a defense petition filed by Watkins’ attorneys, they said, “Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest.”

Reports noted that Watkins is one of nine people connected to the Oath Keepers that were charged with conspiracy in relation to storming the U.S. Capitol building to stop Congress from sealing the deal on Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

Watkins was also accused of forcibly entering the capitol building during the insurrection, but her lawyers say Watkins “did not engage in any violence or force at the Capitol grounds or in the Capitol.” Since being arrested and held, Watkins pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges. Watkins reportedly asked to be released to home confinement before trial, saying they are risking “harsh treatment” for being a trans woman.

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