The leader of the Florida Oath Keepers coordinated with members of two other extremist groups prior to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.
The filing, arguing that Kelly Meggs should remain in jail, includes records of Facebook messages in which he discusses plans for Jan. 6 and says he is working with leaders from the Proud Boys and Three Percenters. Members of all three groups have been charged in the assault on the Capitol.
It’s the first time prosecutors have presented evidence of wider coordination among extremist groups.
In one message on Dec. 26, Meggs tells another person to “wait for Jan. 6 when we are all in DC to insurrection.”
Meggs, 52, is charged with conspiracy along with nine other co-defendants associated with the Oath Keepers. He’s also charged with destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding and entering a restricted building.
While Meggs’ lawyer argues that his detention hearing should be reopened, prosecutors say the level of coordination evident from his Facebook posts makes him a continued risk to the public.
“Defendant Meggs engaged in extensive planning and financing to come to Washington, D.C., and coordinate with his coconspirators and others on how to accomplish his goals of disrupting Congress,” according to the the government’s filing on Tuesday.
The filing also includes the text of Facebook posts from Meggs in December in which he wrote, “Well we are ready for the rioters, this week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys. We have decided to work together and shut this s— down.”
He appeared from the context of other posts to be referring to Antifa members he believed would be present at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to the prosecution’s evidence, Meggs and the group he was with did not engage with any opposition members, but instead are seen on video moving in formation toward the Capitol and were near the front of a mob that broke down a door and entered the building.
The new filing also presents evidence of several meetings held on the video conferencing site Go To Meeting starting on Dec. 23, which Meggs attended along with other members of the Oath Keepers.
A meeting on Dec. 31 was called “se leaders dc 1/6/21 op call”.
Other Facebook posts cited in the filing show Meggs discussing what weapons to bring and what not to bring with other potential rioters. He says on December 31 that he will not carry a gun but that “we have a heavy (Quick Reaction Force) 10 min out though.”
Meggs told another Facebook user on January 3 that January 6 “isn’t a rally.” He earlier said he believed then-President Donald Trump would use an emergency broadcast system to send a signal. “Then wait for the 6th when we are all in DC to insurrection,” he wrote, according to Facebook posts captured in the government’s court filings.
Meggs’ attorney declined to comment on the new filing Wednesday.
Meggs was charged along with his wife, Connie, 59; Laura Steele, 52, of North Carolina; Graydon Young, 54, of Florida; Bennie Parker, 70, of Ohio; and his wife, Sandra, 60.
The charges expand a conspiracy case charging three Oath Keeper members, including Virginia organizer Thomas Caldwell in connection with the riot. An additional co-conspirator, Kenneth Harrelson was indicted by a grand jury in March.
Federal prosecutors detailed how Caldwell and the others allegedly planned their roles in the attack weeks in advance, then coordinated by radio as they moved into the Capitol in group formation, wearing helmets, reinforced vests and military-style insignia.