Oath Keeper testifies about huge pile of weapons hidden in hotel on eve of Jan 6

WASHINGTON — Member of the Oath Keepers who took an AR-15 to a hotel in Virginia on the eve of the Jan. 6 riot described walking into a room filled with a large stash of weapons in a seditious conspiracy trial Wednesday.

Oath Keepers member Terry Cummings testified that “many cases of guns” were in the hotel room when he left his gun at a comfort hostel in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 5, 2021.

“I haven’t seen so many guns in one place since I was in the military,” Cummings said.

Prosecutors allege the stock – which they called a “quick reaction force” or “QRF” – was organized as part of a plan to oppose the peaceful transfer of power.

Founder of Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes stands trial for seditious conspiracy alongside four other Oath Keepers associates: Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell. Other alleged members of the conspiracy will be tried in November.

Rhodes had urged President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and called on members of the Oath Keepers to help stop the peaceful transfer of power.

After Jan. 6, Rhodes said he regretted not bringing weapons to Washington on the day of the riot, federal prosecutors said. Another oath keeper before said in court that Rhodes tried unsuccessfully to reach Trump on the night of January 6.

Stewart Rhodes in a parking lot in Washington, DC on January 5, 2021.Amy Harris/Shutterstock

Cummings, an Air National Guard veteran who testified under a subpoena, said he hadn’t heard any discussion of the Capitol storming and thought he wouldn’t. would only use his weapon as a defensive measure. He said he was aware of the strict gun laws in Washington and no oath-keepers were carrying guns in the city on the day of the riot.

Cummings, who says he joined the Oath Keepers in 2020 because he was concerned about riots across the country and “Antifa attacks”, said he decided to come to Washington on January 6 because “it ‘was an opportunity’ to express his first Edit rights.

“Personally, I didn’t think it was a good idea to participate,” he said.

Cummings recalled that he started his day Jan. 6 providing security for anonymous VIPs at the Trump rally at the Ellipse, which preceded the riot. He said he and other members of the Oath Keepers had VIP passes for the rally and had to go through Secret Service security lines to walk about 20 yards away from the scene.

John Zimmerman, former member of the Oath Keepers, testified last week that Rhodes told him he had a Secret Service contact and that he overheard Rhodes talking with someone he believed to be a Secret Service agent a few months before the Capitol Riot.

Cummings testified that he and other oath keepers left the rally before Trump finished speaking because they had been called in to escort an unnamed Hispanic VIP to the Capitol. As the group of about 10 escorted the woman, Cummings said, he heard from Meggs that the Capitol had been breached, and the group decided to leave the woman with an oath guard and drove to the Capitol. .

After they arrived on the Capitol grounds, Cummings said, he had to use the bathroom and separated himself from the group. He said he learned after meeting the group that they entered the Capitol building while separated.

In cross-examination, Cummings repeatedly stated that he had never heard of any plans for the oath keepers to enter the Capitol. “There was no conversation regarding the storming of the Capitol,” he said.

He also testified that he contributed to online donation accounts for Harrelson and Meggs.

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