Oath Keepers suspects charged with conspiracy

For the first time on Tuesday, prosecutors have directly accused people of organizing the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

Three people affiliated with the far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers, have been accused of conspiring to "forcibly storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6."

Federal prosecutors say it's likely additional charges will be filed for rioting.

One of the accused, Virginian Thomas Caldwell, has a leadership role in the Oath Keepers militia.

In his first court appearance on Tuesday, Caldwell told the judge that he looks forward to proving that "every single charge is false."

Fellow Oath Keepers members Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl from Ohio were also charged with conspiring against the United States and conspiring to prevent the government from discharging its duties, among other offenses.

Messages collected by investigators suggest the defendants extensively plotted the capitol attack, according to an amended complaint filed by the government.

In one message, Watkins said, "We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan."

Another from Caldwell during the attack said, "All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas."

None of the three defendants have entered a plea in response to their charges.

Other arrests have mounted since the riots and many of those involved have ties to other extremist groups like the Proud Boys and QAnon.

Video Transcript

- (CHANTING) USA! USA!

- For the first time on Tuesday, prosecutors have directly accused people of organizing the deadly riot at the US Capitol earlier this month.

[CHEERING]

Three people affiliated with the far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers, have been accused of conspiring to forcibly storm the US Capitol on January 6. Federal prosecutors say it's likely additional charges will be filed for rioting. One of the accused, Virginian Thomas Caldwell, has a leadership role in the Oath Keepers militia. In his first court appearance on Tuesday, Caldwell told the judge that he looks forward to proving that quote, "Every single charge is false." Fellow Oath Keepers members, Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl from Ohio, were also charged with conspiring against the United States and conspiring to prevent the government from discharging its duties among other offenses.

Messages collected by investigators suggest the defendants extensively plotted the Capitol attack, according to an amended complaint filed by the government. In one message, Watkins said, "We have about 30 to 40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan." Another from Caldwell, during the attack, said, "All members are in the tunnels under Capitol. Seal them in. Turn on gas." None of the three defendants have entered a plea in response to their charges. Other arrests have mounted since the riots. And many of those involved have ties to other extremist groups, like the Proud Boys and QAnon.